With a red wine of pure Nerello Mascalese dedicated to Luigi Pirandello and an Etna Bianco Doc in homage to the somewhat -unknown 16th-century Sicilian poet Antonio Veneziano, Al-Cantàra winery, Pucci Giuffrida’s winery in contrada Feudo Santa Anastasia located in Randazzo, Etna, continues the project of collectible wines begun with the red wine “Liolà-Ullarallà,” – a name that also referenced a citation from the playwright from Girgenti who won the Nobel Prize for literature.
Al-Cantàra’s Legendary Nerello Mascalese
Both of these labels have been released right at the end of 2022. The first is the red wine “Pensaci, Giacuminu!®,” made from 2018 Nerello Mascalese grapes, Etna’s native vine, which rests in Etna chestnut tonneaux before being bottled in 1,400 pieces – a procedure that responds to the desire for experimentation and innovation of producer Giuffrida, assisted by oenologist Salvo Rizzuto, to test the properties of aging in small chestnut barrels, an essence naturally rich in tannin, which today are produced only in Marsala with wood from Etna’s coppice forests.
Al-Cantàra Poetic Carricante
The second label is also aimed at an audience of collectors and connoisseurs of northern Etna vintages; and this one too is designed and hand-watercolored by artist Annachiara Di Pietro, the artist who has been taking care of the image of the of Al-Cantàra’s products for a few years now. It is “Raiju di Bellicza®,” Etna Bianco Doc from Carricante grapes from the 2021 vintage. Grapes with natural longevity that make it a wine destined for bottle aging of six to eight years.
Pucci Giuffrida, the Literary Vigneron
The name evokes a line from a collection of unpublished poems by Sicilian Antonio Veneziano, of which Giuffrida, a vigneron with a passion for literature and theater, came into possession a few years ago by participating in an auction.
“A late 16th-century manuscript,” explains Pucci Giuffrida, “that I had purchased, intrigued by this curious and unknown anthology of poems by Sicilian authors. Upon closer analysis, commissioned from scholars at the University of Palermo, some octaves of these verses, absolutely unpublished, are attributed with certainty to the Palermitan poet Veneziano, considered in academic circles as a sort of “Petrarch of Sicily”: a rebellious and adventurous artist, with a reputation as a ladies’ man and feared by the powerful whose mockery he made.
Labeled a “cursed artist,” he became a close friend of Don Quixote’s father, Spanish writer Miguel Cervantes. Today Veneziano is still little studied: my wish is to be able to contribute to his re-evaluation starting from this curious episode I have come across since I started making wines.”
Collectible Winesin Watercolor by Annachiara Di Pietro
Al-Cantàra’s Raiju is also in a limited edition: 1399 labels finished in watercolor by Annachiara Di Pietro that bear on the back the octave from which the title was extrapolated.