It was a long trip from Lecce, Puglia, to Butera, Sicily, I was weary. I imagine like travelers who may have come here in 1543, to celebrate Ambrogio Bracinforte’s nomination as Lord of Feudo Principi di Butera by King Philip of Spain. The Bracinforte family went on to become one of the Sicily’s most powerful.
As we entered the rustic entry gate and approached the main house, I felt a new breath of life, a palatable excitement that grew as I took in the rich ambiance of the property.
Over the next 18 hours we feasted on a bounty of sights, sounds, scents and flavors; charming words and beautiful colors.
The estate was acquired by the Zonin family in recent years. They have transformed it to a great vineyard while carefully preserving its past. A place to stay and enjoy.
We were warmly greeted by our hosts Claudio Galosi, the estate’s eonologist, and Laura Luciani, Ufficio Ospitalità. And a nephew of Gianni Zonin. Alesandro I believe, who is a new director.
As soon as we settled in we were invited to a technical presentation and tasting of the current Butera releases. Presented by Claudio and Alessandra Zambonin, Zonin Press and Communications Manager, who translated as needed. Their voices so melodicly sharing the story of the wines.
The highlights were the Nero d’Avola and Insolia, indigenous varieties, that Feudo Principi di Butera grows and also the high quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay that is produced to satisfy the demand of the international market.
Following the tasting we had a magnificent dinner which began with the fine Zonin Prosecco.
Sicilian olives and Sun-dried tomatoes may be the best I have ever tasted.
This Risotto Rosso is made with red wine, we served our version of this at a dinner for friends Friday night. A great way to fight the chill of the recent storms.
One of the most outstanding wines was the Nero D’Avola named Deliella after Principality of Deliella, founded in the 1700's by the Italian Royal Family of Savoia on the very lands which today represent the borders of the Feudo Principi di Butera. It is a wine of great finesse and character that represents the skill and commitment of the Butera team very well.
A dinner in Sicily could not be complete without some of the world favored Cannoli pastry.
These were perfection.
After a evening of great food, wine and conversation we retired to our suite in the fortress like residence building.
We enjoyed a deep and restful sleep. The dark and quiet nights here are narcotic.
The vineyards are expansive, lush grapes, all harvested now.
Olive trees, rosemary and other herbs, as well as beautiful flowers are everywhere, all part of the Zonin holistic approach to farming. Every taste an olive right off the tree?
At 9:00 we were served a fresh and flavorful breakfast, all local ingredients. Then we set off for a tour of the winery.
Like all Zonin estates the large winemaking facility is designed and built to fit into the local countryside.
Claudio presented and Alessandra Zambonin translated. His knowledge and passion have no bounds.
Original books of record have been preserved.
As the new the new story is told.
In the winery the ultramodern meets the ancient. Prepared to produce much good wine as the vineyards are expanded.
The cellar looks very old yet is relatively new.
Awesome, the original family crest.
We walked the estate back to the main house for another wholesome meal.
Traditional Siclian pottery and antique maps.
I loved this white wine, Insolia, since we got back a couple of weeks ago we have shared over a case with friends, who have drank it with great joy.
With a fabulous lunch. From these proud chefs.
Our fabulous "tour guides," Alessandra Zambonin and Jelena Meisel, both involved in PR and Marketing, Alessandra from Vincenza, and Jelena, Miami.
One last photo shoot.
Just one episode in a great trip to Italy, that started here, 7 Flights, 5 Airports, 5 Destinations, 11 Meals, 32 Wines and Many More New Friends, a Trip to Italy for the Zonin Masseria Altemura Inaugurazione