The high point of our reportage on Caltanissetta is an enoteca. We can state, without pointless timidity, that it is the best furnished wine shop we have ever encountered and, according to many, is among the most important of its kind in all of Italy. Readers might well be amazed – as were we – that this could exist at all at San Cataldo , a town of little more than 23 thousand souls just a few miles from the provincial capital of Caltanissetta, in the rural hinterland of the island of Sicily.
The enoteca was founded in 2008. Dedicated to the grape variety of the same name, Nero d’Avola & Co. is a shop which offers the finest wines of Italy and of Europe; celebrated bottles of outstanding houses, great brands of every size and price point. From Echezeaux to Romanée Conti,, from Jacquesson to Krug, and from Sassicaia to Biondi-Santi, Gaja, and Conterno. And, in addition, there are other products such as pasta sauces, vegetables packed under olive oil, and artichoke hearts, extra-virgin olive oil, and pasta. The formula “enoteca with a kitchen” is a winning one, and offers the possibility of selecting a nice bottle from the shelves and tasting it immediately with well matched accompanying dishes such as pasta tarts, omelets, or vegetable soups, all for a cost of less than €30 for two persons. To this should be added the pleasurable aspect of the locale, the elegant furniture, the shelving, and the wooden cases in which the wines have been packed and shipped, an attractive décor in themselves with the names of their producers. Full length windows offer a view of the valley below, while soft lighting illuminates the comfortable and carefully decorated interior spaces.
But the enoteca is also a commercial distribution organization called Fine Luxury Wine and Fine Luxury Food which works with foreign markets and clients as well. And, in addition, there is a proprietary brand, “A Punta da Vigna”, three different wines produced in Tuscany.