Why Be Curious? Catarratto is grown all over Sicilia, but Guccione’s version shines thanks to: (1) The more noble Cataratto Extralucido clone. (2) Terre brune, a rusty-brown terroir of clay, chalk, and iron. (3) Skin contact in the winemaking. The result is Catarratto as sultry seductress rather than simple thirst-quencher. It’s a savory wine that feeds all kinds of appetites.
Produttore / Producer: Francesco Guccione is a grower in the vinously nearly-forgotten northwest of Sicilia who has made a name for himself by re-discovering this corner of the island and its potential. His wines are crisscrossed with character and intrigue; they bring to life a land whose stories span from the ancient Phoenicians to modern Sicilians.
Vigna / Vineyard: The locale is called Cerasa, and it lies 35 kilometers southwest of Palermo. Cerasa has always been famous for the quality of its grapes; back in the days when negociants did most of the bottling, buyers arrived from all over Sicilia to select their grapes. The Guccione vineyards have been certified organic since 1996 and farmed biodynamically since 2005. Francesco adheres to a strict natural regime: massale selection of vines, dry farming, and various cover crops including herbs like chamomile and echinacea.
Cantina / Cellar: Fermentation in 3000-liter acacia wood tini (large, upright wooden casks) with native yeasts, including 10 days of skin contact. A year of aging, also in tini, and no filtering or clarification.
Il Vino / The Wine: Cataratto Extralucido (“extra-shiny”) is the higher-quality but more-difficult-to-grow clone of the Cataratto variety. The fruit tends toward citrus, with a notable nuttiness. Skin contact gives texture, body, and complexity without heaviness. An uncommonly deep Cataratto, and one that ages magnificently for five to 10 years.
A Tavola… / At the Table… Stronger fish dishes, especially shellfish. Pork and game birds. Fresh and semi-aged cheeses, including at the end of a meal.
Guccione Sicilia ‘C’
Vigna / Vineyard
Nome / Name: ‘C’.
Ettari / Hectares: 1 ha.
Quota / Altitude: 480-500 m / 1575-1640 ft.
Suoli / Type of soils: Marl with medium clay content.
Esposizione / Exposure: East / West.
Vitigni / Varieties: Cataratto Extralucido.
Età delle viti / Vine age: Ten years old (planted in 2005).
Densità / Planting Density: 4400 vines/hectare.
Allevamento / Trellis system: Spalliera (vertical trellis).
Data di vendemmia / Harvest date: End of September to mid-October.
Metodo di vendemmia / Harvest technique: Hand harvested.
Metodo agricolo / Agricultural technique: Certified biodynamic.
Resa / Yield: 5000-6000 kilograms / hectare.
Cantina / Cellar
Lieviti / Yeasts: Native yeasts.
Fermentazione alcolica / Alcoholic fermentation: Spontaneous, in 3000-liter acacia wood tini (large, upright wooden casks), with 10 days of skin contact.
Fermentazione malolattica / Malolactic fermentation: Yes, also in tini.
Affinamento / Élevage: One year in tini and additional months in bottle.
Chiarificazione, filtrazione / Clarification, filtration: None.
Zolfo / Sulphur: 58 mg/L total, 27 mg/L free.
Altri prodotti aggiunti? / Other products added?: None.
Produzione annua / Annual production: 4000 bottles, in cases of 6 bottles each.
Gradazione alcolica / Alcoholic %: 13.5%.
Tappo e bottiglia / Closure and bottle: Natural Sicilian cork, 750 ml Burgundy bottle.