I had the pleasure of meeting Gorghi Tondi at the beginning of 2000 when the company in Mazara del Vallo (Trapani) was just born. I immediately assumed their story would be a successful one for some reasons in particular: the core value of the family, nature, courage and their authentic environmental spirit.
Since its foundation by Michele Sala, one of the most respectable men in the Sicilian wine industry, passion and appreciation for the world of wine have been the driving force of the company, embraced as the core value also by his daughters, Annamaria and Clara after their father departed.
You could think about nature as the characteristic of any wine company, but in the case of Gorghi Tondi, something is making that characteristic unique: the area has been under the protection of the WWF since 1998 because of its exceptional environmental characteristics.
Preserving the potential of that naturalistic oasis and making good wine in there is indeed a big challenge that only people with an authentic environmental spirit could take.
Not for chance, when interviewed during our Italian Wine tour, Annamaria Sala declared that her appreciation and respect for that naturalistic environment goes back to her grandmother Doretta who was the first one to perceive the outstanding value and potential of the surrounding area.
She also mentioned the intuition her grandma had with starting the viticulture of “il Grillo” right there, highlighting it was sought-after for the Marsala production at that time, and today is recognized as the most representative product of Gorghi Tondi company.
Its vast production includes different versions, she explained, from sparkling wine to cru, from muffato to sulphite-free, to end with their most recent experimentation of “perpetual wine”.
But Gorghi Tondi do not overlook the value of the Sicilian native vines such as Zibibbo and Cataratto, as well as ancient vines like Damaschino, Nerello Mascalese and Frappato.
Moreover, Annamaria could not avoid mentioning the add value packaging has in their company: labels are always designed to enhance all the factors that inspire the company’s production: art, crafts, sea, cuisine, nature in its most intimate soul.
As far as concerned wine tasting, we had the pleasure of meeting the social media manager Marilena Leta who gave us an unforgettable tasting experience.
In my opinion, “the Rajàh” represents one of the fascinating examples of Zibibbo in dry version and the company Gorghi Tondi is a pioneer in its production.
It seems you can feel the sea (very close to the vineyards) that, thanks to the winds mitigate the intense heat, giving freshness to the wines and a mix of citrus flavour and “sweetness” (cedar and bergamot); it won me over!
Nerello Mascalese deserved our special appreciation as well. The company ideally moved it from its native place Etna to Mazara and succeeded in creating the fabulous rosé “Rosa dei Venti” making me discover one of my favourite rosés of this year.
We give our greetings to Annamaria, Clara and Doretta and we also reserve a superior thought to Michele, remembering of him by the word of his daughter at his funeral: “Our father, the founder of this company, the visionary who realized this dream, has left us today. We know you will always be there!”
They were right, Michele is always there with them.