The days grow shorter, the beaches along the coast are gradually abandoned, “green days” fill the radio, the sun no longer burns the skin: it’s September, harvest time.
The cellars of Alessandro di Camporeale are in full ferment. The day begins at 7 A.M. with the picking, entirely by hand, of the crop. The white grapes are past history. Indeed, are already wine! Now it is Syrah time. The dark bunches are deposited into the baskets and within a few hours will already be in the cellars, avoiding with this rapidity the beginning of fermentation processes. In the cellars the grapes are destemmed and washed.
State-of-the-art equipment assures whole berries, which pass directly through tubes into the fermentation tanks
It is there that the magic happens: the proper play of temperatures and the calculated addition of selected yeasts transform the sweet must into full-bodied reds and fragrant whites.
The tastings from the tanks left us enthusiastic indeed: the Sauvignon Blanc was redolent of grapefruit while the Grillo cultivated at the Mandranova estates releases notes of tropical fruit. But, more than anything else, we are struck by the crisp Catarratto, a truly interesting wine which many are getting to know and to love. The grapes come from the highest vineyard, at almost 2000 feet (600 meters) above sea level on a hill which dominates the valleys below. A white wine which, every year, is more and more convincing and greatly pleases its creator, young Benedetto Alessandro, our exceptional guide in this fascinating tour of vineyards and cellar.
Once the Syrah harvest is done it will be the turn of Nero d’Avola and the late-harvest grapes, and at the point it will be possible to sum up the 2016 vintage which, up until now, has given us pleasurable, fruity, and aromatic surprises. Cheers!