Di Giovanna Estate
Embracing family tradition and Italian culture to craft internationally acclaimed wines
Di Giovanna’s first vineyards were planted more than 150 years ago by Cristoforo Ciaccio, who aged his wines in his family’s old stone farmhouse called Fiuminello. The rugged, high altitude growing area is near the geographic center of Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
In 1985, fifth generation owners Aurelio and Barbara Di Giovanna initiated a study that resulted in a reorganization of their vineyards. Vines are grown organically at altitudes between 1150 to over 2700 feet and produce exceptional fruit for Di Giovanna’s wine portfolio.
Two brothers, Klaus and Gunter Di Giovanna run today’s modern operation that has only recently begun exporting to the United States.
Riccardo Coratella - Winemaker
Internationally respected winemaker Riccardo Cotarella, known as ‘the wizard’ controls the production process of Sicily’s Di Giovanna Estate. Cotarella also consults for several Bordeaux Chateaux (raising eyebrows from the firmly entrenched French winemaking cadre) and co-owns his own Italian estate, Falesco, in Umbria with his brother Renzo Cotarella.
His initial winemaking success was with white wines and Cotarella feels that whites are making a strong comeback throughout Europe. He is also famous for his powerful reds that have garnered many international awards and accolades. Cotarella also researches new techniques for growing vines and is highly acclaimed for his research work.
Sicily sits off Italy’s western coast and is home to more vineyards than any other wine region. It is a volcanic island with rich soils for growing vines. For many years, Sicilian grapes were sold to other regions and blended into many styles of wine.
Lately, there has been a resurgence of smaller, estate-type vineyards that have emerged with great emphasis on quality. In just twenty years, a number of these wineries have vaulted into the stratosphere of internationally acclaimed wines. Di Giovanna Estate is one such example of this late success. Sicily provides us with the Grillo grape that was formerly used in making of Marsala, Italy’s fortified wine.
Fun Facts about Italy
-Parmesan cheese originated in the area around Parma, Italy. Italians also created many other cheeses, including gorgonzola, mozzarella, provolone, and ricotta.
-The University of Rome is one of the world's oldest universities and was founded by the Catholic Church in A.D. 1303. Often called La Sapienza ("knowledge"), the University of Rome is also Europe's largest university with 150,000 students.
-There are two independent states within Italy: the Republic of San Marino (25 square miles) and the Vatican City ( just 108.7 acres).
-The highest peak in Europe is in Italy - Monte Bianco, part of the Alps, stands at 15,771 feet high.
-Italy is slightly larger than the state of Arizona.
-The ice cream cone is an Italian invention.
-In ancient times, the Italian peninsula was commonly referred to as enotria, or "land of wine," because of its rich diversity of grape varieties and many acres dedicated to cultivated vines.
-The Black Rooster is a 700 year old symbol and a proud designation of Italy's Chianti Classico wines. Story has it, Florence and Siena long fueded over rights to the region now known as Chianti Classico, and in 1200 they agreed to end the feud with a competition. Horsemen were to depart from the rival cities at the crow of a rooster and wherever they met would determine the boundary lines. Siena chose a well-fed white rooster while the cunning Florentines chose a starving black rooster. On the day of the event, the white rooster crowed at dawn, but the starving black rooster had begun to crow long before. This gave the Florentine horseman a considerable advantage, and the Senese horseman didn't get very far. The borders were established with the region now belonging to Florence. The Black Rooster emblem is placed on the neck of wine bottles from the Chianti Classico zone.