The Award Will Be Presented To Alberto Tasca January 27th, At The 20th Annual Wine Star Awards Gala In San Francisco
(Palermo, Sicily; November 5, 2019) – Tasca d’Almerita announced today that it has won Wine Enthusiast’s “European Winery of the Year” award. This marks the first time that a Sicilian winery has received this prestigious honor and underlines the Tasca family’s profound commitment to qualitative growth of the entire “oenological continent” that is Sicily.
“The responsibility assumed by the Tasca d’Almerita family towards the commitment to sustainable viticulture in Sicily has had an extremely positive influence on the wine, the environment and other wineries across Italy…improving quality and spreading the message of sustainability,” notes long-time Italian wine editor Kerin O’Keefe. The winners will be published in the special “Best of Year” December edition of Wine Enthusiast, and honorees will be presented their trophies at the 20th Anniversary black-tie awards gala at the iconic Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco on Monday, January 27, 2020.
Since 1830, the Tasca d’Almerita family has cared for precious vineyards in the heart of Sicily: it was there, at Regaleali in the Contea di Sclafani DOC in 1959 that Count Giuseppe Tasca d’Almerita first planted Perricone and Nero d’Avola on the San Lucio hillside. This vineyard cultivated ad albarello would pave the way for a future that few Sicilians could imagine at the time, creating the basis for the first single-vineyard wine in Sicily: “Riserva del Conte,” which would come to be known as Rosso del Conte.
Today, 190 years later, that story is in the hands of Alberto Tasca, an 8th generation vigneron convinced by the power of individuals and the potential of teamwork, who entrusted his company to a unique, all-encompassing vision of sustainability driven by the qualitative potential of Sicilian wine. Beginning in 2001, Alberto embarked in the pursuit of Sicilian territories particularly suited to winemaking excellence. The Regaleali estate soon encompassed Capofaro on Salina in the Aeolian archipelago, Tascante on Mount Etna, Whitaker on the ancient island of Mozia and Sallier de La Tour in the Monreale DOC.
“Our agriculture has always been based on sustainable principles. Making wine is both an incredible gift and an immense responsibility,” explains Alberto Tasca. “We trust the land to tell our story, which is profoundly rooted in my family’s history; the responsibility to preserve this patrimony, the beauty of the landscape, not only physically but historically and culturally. For us wine producers at an artisanal, familial level, it is very important to be careful and precise in the agronomic choices that determine the health of the territory in which we live and work. Just as it is necessary to measure the impact of every action we take. The goal isn’t to produce sustainable wine but to produce great wine, elegant wine, in a sustainable way.”
For this reason, in 2010 Tasca d’Almerita decided to align with SOStain, a sustainability protocol for Sicilian viticulture based on ten minimum requirements and certified by an independent third party. The underlining concept of SOStain is to garner attention around the fact that the influence of agricultural activities extends beyond the fields and farms of cultivation; it affects the wellness of workers, the health of consumers, the wellbeing of the surrounding territory and the conservation of natural resources.
“When we adhered to SOStain, we did so with the conviction of undertaking a process of awareness. We wanted to be able to measure the effects of every action taken in the vineyards, in the cellars, and in general throughout our organization,” noted Alberto Tasca. “In this sense, constant measurement using rigorous scientific indicators allows us to make decisions on a daily basis based on objective data which helps us in turn to avoid waste and reduce costs. It’s a long, tiring job that takes into consideration the entire production process from grape to glass, but the result is a conscious understanding of our actions and their impacts, regardless of whether our practices respect organic agriculture, biodynamics, conventional techniques or otherwise.”
With a strong belief that sustainability efforts should be transparent to trade and consumers, Tasca d’Almerita publishes an annual sustainability report in which it demonstrates the results of the actions taken and outlines future commitments.
Sicily is the pride and joy of Tasca d’Almerita – a region of constant evolution and confrontation that possesses an enormous wealth of grape varieties, precious natural and cultural genetic resources, extremely favorable climatic conditions, and countless soil types that allow for an incomparably diverse wine production. “Practicing sustainable agriculture allows us not only to be custodians of our heritage, but also to work together with like-minded producers,” added Alberto Tasca. “After all, it is with collective action that we’re able to generate true change. I would like to dedicate this award to my whole family and to the women and men who have collaborated with us for generations, with wisdom and love.”
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