(August 24, 2016; Sicily, IT)—Alberto Tasca, seventh-generation CEO of Sicily’s Tasca d’Almerita, has announced the purchase of a winery and an additional 13 acres of vineyards for the family’s Tascante estate, located in the highly desirable Etna DOC. The Tasca family entered the Mount Etna region in 2006 with the purchase of 52 acres of vineyards located between the districts of Randazzo and Castiglione di Sicilia. With a goal of showcasing the indigenous varieties—Nerello Mascalese and Carricante—Tascante officially launched with the 2008 vintage. This new expansion is symbolic as it supports the family’s continued legacy of exploring and cultivating indigenous varieties in some of Sicily’s most coveted DOCs.
Tascante estate vineyards in Etna DOC
In recent years, Mount Etna has gained international recognition for its complex wines that display the area’s unique terroir influenced by the diverse landscape of mountains, volcanoes and sea breezes. The Tasca family studied the Etna DOC for over a decade before placing roots in the region. “The Nerello Mascalese variety impressed us most,” says Alberto Tasca. “Grown on lava soils on the slopes of a volcano, Nerello Mascalese has tannins and low anthocyanins reminiscent of Nebbiolo from the Langhe or Pinot Noir from Burgundy.”
“With a growing interest in the exciting wines of Mount Etna, we’re thrilled to expand our production in the area,” says Tasca. “The addition of our winery is a crucial step for Tascante. Not only does it increase our presence in the DOC but it provides us with our own facility closer to our estate vineyards, allowing more precision in the winemaking process, from harvesting to fermentation.”
The new winery is on Contrada Marchesa, located in Passopisciaro. It includes an ancient palmento, a cellar built in black lava stone basins where the grapes are crushed and processed to make and store wine, as well as a wine cellar for vinification. With the addition of this winery, all Tascante operations will take place on Mount Etna, allowing the wines to be labeled with the Etna DOC.
For over 200 years, Tasca d’Almerita has been a trailblazer in winemaking and agriculture in Sicily, bringing international recognition to this special region. They were the first family to put Sicily on a wine label in 1954 and the first to introduce a single-vineyard bottling from the region in 1970. Today, the seventh-generation continues to evolve, compare and innovate. In 2010, Tasca d’Almerita co-founded the SOStain project, a certification process that aims to guide producers toward the production of wines that are made with a great respect for all elements of the ecosystem. The protocol of SOStain follows a scientific and innovative approach to agriculture, while maintaining sensitivity toward the environment and awareness of the surroundings of the vineyards, community and the future of the planet. With SOStain, Tasca d’Almerita works to make wines that strive to highlight the territory from which they come, working with humbleness alongside the natural environments. In addition to Tascante, Tasca d’Almerita owns and operates four other highly-respected estates throughout Sicily, including Tenuta Regaleali, Tenuta Capofaro, Tenuta Whitaker, and Sallier de La Tour.
Dalla Terra Winery Direct® is the sole importer for Tascante in the United States. dallaterra.com
About Tasca d’Almerita:
More than any other winery, this historic but forward-looking family enterprise embodies the marriage of quality and authenticity that has put Sicilian wine on the world map and turned it into one of Italy’s most fascinating and varied wine regions.
The company’s home base of Tenuta Regaleali, a magnificent 1,236-acre farming estate in the center of Sicily, has been in the family since 1830. It was here, in the 1970s, that Count Lucio Tasca first demonstrated Sicily’s ability to produce world-class wines able to compete in blind tastings with the very best European and New World vintages. Today, Lucio’s son Alberto—with strong collaboration and dedicated support from his brother Giuseppe—continues his father’s pursuit of quality and passion for innovation and research. Tasca d’Almerita’s focus on quality, and its refusal to rest on its laurels, were recognized in October 2011 when the company was named ‘Winery of the Year’ in the 2012 edition of Italy’s bestselling wine guide, Vini d’Italia, published by Gambero Rosso.
Today, Tasca d’Almerita is present in five prime winemaking locations around Sicily, places where vines, soil, Sicilian sun, diverse landscapes and the age-old work of man form a unique terroir, which finds its perfect expression in the cellar, the bottle and the glass thanks to the company’s unrivalled winemaking expertise. From hand-harvested vineyards totaling 1,161 acres, Tasca d’Almerita produces 24 wines, each with a unique character, which are exported to over 50 countries.
Since 2000, Alberto and Giuseppe Tasca have reached out across Sicily, embracing the unique territories that make this Mediterranean island such a rising star on the global wine scene. The new millennium has seen the family company expand beyond its home estate of Regaleali into four other sites of Sicilian oenological excellence: Salina, Mozia, Mount Etna, and Monreale. The company continues to grow and develop, inventing, producing and sharing the wealth and diversity of this ancient land and spreading its values of solidity, consistency and steadfast, hard work.
Each of the five estates represents five faces of Sicily’s rich and complex character. On the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna, which wine writer Jancis Robinson has called the “Burgundy of the Mediterranean,” Tascante, an estate of nearly 77 acres, is a vineyard site of archaic beauty on Sicily’s new oenological frontier. The estate is an extraordinary sight of 99 terraces, each of 6.5 feet in width built with dark volcanic rock, surrounded by orchards of chestnut trees and deep, rich volcanic soil.
Bathed in southern light, Tenuta Capofaro on the Aeolian island of Salina produces a heady dessert wine from the Malvasia grape. In the verdant hills behind Palermo, Tenuta Sallier de La Tour generates contemporary Sicilian wines of refined elegance, expressing the unity of countryside and sea breezes. And on the former Phoenician island of Mozia, near Marsala, Tenuta Whitaker is a little oenological jewel and museum under the sky, where the Grillo grape expresses all its summery verve, amongst the archeological sites and the sea.
Tasca d’Almerita is also focused on Sicilian hospitality, with facilities for wine tastings and tours at Regaleali and Capofaro. Both estates also offer accommodations: the vines of Capofaro are laid out amidst the villas of Salina’s most exclusive resort; and Regaleali offers authentic and warm country-home hospitality in the family manor house, a place where the family history and wines come to life.
For more information about Tasca d’Almerita, please go to TascadAlmerita.it/en