This wine made by the Rallo family hails from Pantelleria, a tiny volcanic island in the middle of the Mediterranean aproximately half way betwwen the southern coast of Sicily and the nothern coast of Africa. The Rallo family has made wine in historic Marsala since 1851, and their ancient cellars tunnel beneath the city. They were one of the first families to begin making high quality table wine when sales of traditional sweet Marsala started to decline, launching the Donnafugata label in 1983, and championing some of the more obscure regional Italian grape varieties. Today, they have two estates in Sicily: a modern winery and 260 hectares at Contessa Entellina in the hills east of Marsala; and 68 hectares on the island of Pantelleria. Donnafugata means 'fleeing woman' - a reference to Queen Maria Carolina who escaped the court of Naples in the early 19th century with her husband Ferdinand IV of Bourbon when Napoleon's troops arrived. The couple took refuge in Sicily at Santa Margherita Belice palace, also the favourite residence of celebrated writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.
A modern take on the classic Moscato Passito, the name Ben Rye derives from the Arabic ‘Son of the Wind‘, after the wind which sweeps round the island. The Zibibbo vines are plante in the traditional style in hollows in the ground and pruned short. Soils are volcanic in origin, very loose and mineral rich.
Grapes from the later ripening vineyards are chilled and pressed with the dried grapes added at intervals during fermentation. The wine remained in stainless steel for 4 months, followed by 6 in bottle after blending.
This wine is bright gold in colour with perfumes of dried peaches, ripe apricots and savoury, salty notes. On the palate it is sweet and luscious, with rich, powerful flavours of peach and stoned fruit finishing fresh and clean and never cloying in the mouth. This is just beautiful stuff !!!