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News Lunedi 31 Agosto 2015

What does it mean to be wine producer in Sicily today? The interview to Francesco dei Principi di Spadafora

Which are limits and resources of one of the most beautiful wine territories in the world, Sicily? All the answers of Francesco dei Principi di Spadafora, owner of the winery in Monreale (Palermo)

di Agnese Ceschi

francesco spadafora
Francesco Spadafora, a Doc wine producer from Sicily, a frank and outside the box man (as he loves to define himself) who has a deep relationship with his land. This relationship with the land is the distinguishing feature of his winery, which obtained the organic certification in 2014.
The history of his family, Principi di Spadafora, with noble origins dated back 1230, is strictly connected to Sicily. The wines are expression of a territory, Sicily, known in the world for its history, culture and power of its wine production.
Spadafora’s wine production was born with Don Pietro dei Principi di Spadafora, Francesco’s father, who inherited estate and vineyards from the uncle Michele De Stefani and planted new vineyards. When Francesco Spadafora inherited the family estate from his father in 1988, he decided to begin to produce quality wines instead of giving the grapes to the local production association. So in 1993 the first bottle of red wine was born: Don Pedro.
Today Francesco Spadafora is the owner of 95 hectares of vineyards and 20 hectares of olive tree groves on the hills of Monreale near Palermo.


What does it mean to be wine producer in Sicily today?
For sure it means living the land, walking around the vineyards and knowing every day what they need. Moreover it is necessary to be patient and available to learn every day something new.
I think these are the basis for every wine producer in every part of the world. Be a wine producer in Sicily gives a lot of satisfactions because here the story of quality wine is a recent and beautiful story. The wine producers of Sicily are the witnesses of a wonderful transformation of vineyards in the last 20 years.

Why do you do this job?

When my father died in 1988, I began to think of quality wine. I wanted to change something, so in 1993 the first bottle of wine produced in our winery was born. Today I live near the winery and the vineyards and they are my life.

Which limits or resources do you find in this job?
Land and nature are limit and resource at the same time. Everything starts from nature and we must accept it. Today the technological progress helps us a lot. Today I can follow the harvest or be in the vineyards and at the same time I can speak with my importer in Canada.

Which adjective can explain who you are?
I am like my wine: frank, out of the box, and I am happy to be like this.

Which philosophy is behind your wines?
Use of my grapes to produce, respect for nature, organic farming, photovoltaic system, use of light bottles and organic corks… That means environmental sustainability. For 5 years we have been practising organic farming and since 2014 harvest we have had the certification.

Land and wine: how do this combination influence your production?
For sure this is an inseparable binomial. Wine is the expression of a land and thanks to that land wine has specific and unique characteristics. Then, we must consider that Sicily is well know in the world and this fact plays a fundamental role in the promotion of our wines abroad.


COMPANY PROFILE

Principi di Spadafora winery is in Monreale, near Palermo. Its estate extends over a surface of 180 hectares. On these hills (between 250 and 450 metres above see level) local grapes are cultivated within grapes from abroad like Grillo, Syrah, Catarratto, Cabernet, Chardonnay and Nero d'Avola. The winery received the organic certification and created a system of production which respects the environment.