In the fifth scene of the second act of Lucrezia Borgia, an opera by Gaetano Donizetti, a butler walks in and pours “wine from Siracusa” for all, arousing the appreciation of the guests, who right after exclaim «great wine!» and start singing a cheerful song.
The cultivation of vines has been for a long time the prevailing agricultural activitiy in the lands surrounding Siracusa: a long and rich tradition, dating back to the Greek period and attested by ancient sources and iconography on the archaeological finds, favoured by good climate and soil fertility.
In Contrada Fanusa, where wine company Cantine Gulino has its headquarters and where Sebastiano Gulino has collected the precious family legacy, it’s the mixture of sands and limestones characterising that the land that gives the grapes more flavour. These limestone particulates arise from marine sedimentation. Geological literature call them bench: a particular type of coastal marine deposit, seen along the Italian shores – and in particular along those of Sicily and Sardinia – made up of sandstones and conglomerates of fossils, especially molluscs. They are sedimentary formations eroded thorugh time by the abrasive action of the sea, locally covered by a fertile soil originated largely from the disintegration of limestone and organic substances lying underneath.
A mild climate, slightly wetter in winter and warm and sunny in summer cuddles the bunches of grapes.
Fine variety of the famous Moscato grape, it is considered one of the oldest varieties in Italy. Saverio Landolina Nava traced his origins and was able to see a connection with the Biblia grape, introduced in Siracusa by the legendary thracian king Pollio. He named the wine “Pollio”,the ancestor of the Moscato of Siracusa. The vine is characterised by an average size and pentagonal leaf, the bunch has a cylindrical-pyramidal shape and the skin of the grapes is thin and of yellow-greenish colour.
Nero d’Avola is a grape also known as Calabrese, erroneous translation of “Calaulisi”, derived from the two dialectal words “Calea” (grapes) and “Aulisi” (originally from Avola, a small town in the province of Siracusa). A Sicilian native vine, it has round leaves, conical clusters and the skin of the grapes is tough and bluish.
The Albanello of Siracusa is an ancient, white-graped vine, cultivated in the provinces of Siracusa and Ragusa. In 1879, just about this vine, the wine expert Giovanni Briosi wrote that, although the Albanello wasn’t well known, especially abroad, it was “the best dry wine of whole Sicily.” The leaf is averagely large and circular and the bunch has cylindrical or conical shape.
Fiano is considered one of the best Italian white graped vines. Mainly cultivated in Avellino, in the region of Campania, it is has been widely cultivated in Apulia and, recently, even in Sicily. Its leaves are round, the bunch is pyramidal and the skin of the grapes are thug and yellow-golden.
An Italian white grape that is generally called Ansonica, though Inzolia in Sicily. It is considered the oldest native Sicilian grape variety, although some claim that it’s native of France and that then was spread in Sicily during the Norman period. It is also found in Lazio and Tuscany, especially in the Island of Elba and around the area of Monte Argentario.
Its leaves have a pentagonal shape, the cluster is of pretty large size and the grapes are quite sparse.
The origins of this red graped variety are conflicting: it is believed to draw its origins from the city of Shyraz, Persia and seems to be arrived to our country by passing through the city of Siracusa. According to others, it would be directly native of Siracusa. The leaves of this variety have a pentagonal shape, the bunch has a cylindrical shape and the skin of the grapes is bluish.
It’s a white graped vine native of Burgundy but cultivated throughout the world, including Italy, although it is not known the period in which it was first introduced. The leaf has a circular shape, the bunch is pyramidal, the skin of the grapes has medium texture and is of golden yellow color.