If you’re looking for refreshing, flavorful wines to quench your thirst this summer, then look no further than the latest 2021 release from Di Giovanna. The family-owned winery, currently managed by brothers Gunther and Klaus Di Giovanna, rests south of Palermo and west of Marsala in Sicily. The brothers are the 5th generation to serve as custodians of the land in Sambuca di Sicilia and Contessa Entellina.
The family’s 65 hectares of vineyards bask under the Mediterranean sun, tempered by cooling sea breezes and thriving in the diverse soils of the Sicilian terroir. Many lie within the stunning landscape of the Monte Genuardo nature reserve. Di Giovanna’s higher elevation vineyards reach up to 850 m. above sea level on calcareous soils. Whereas volcanic tuff soil abound as the elevation descends to 460 m. in Contessa Entellina. Notably, Di Giovanna’s vineyards have been certified organic since 1997. You can truly taste the dedication to vineyard management in the vibrancy of their wines. Read more about Di Giovanna’s various vineyards here.
The 2021 Vintage at Di Giovanna
In Sicily, the 2021 vintage was one of the hottest growing seasons the island had ever seen. Yet the lack of international travel meant the team at Di Giovanna was more grounded. They had the opportunity to focus more deeply on vineyard management than ever before. By mastering the use of drip irrigation in certain plots and harvesting early where necessary, Di Giovanna was able to produce an exceptional vintage. The whites and rosé wines are beautifully aromatic and expressive while maintaining balanced, crisp acidity. Now that’s a winning combination I crave in my summer wines.
Di Giovanna 2021 Vurría Grillo Sicilia DOC
2021 was certainly a fantastic vintage for Grillo because this wine is absolutely singing. The Grillo variety is a crossing of Moscato d’Alessandria and another native Sicilian variety called Catarratto. These Grillo grapes were hand-harvested from 30-year-old vines in Di Giovanna’s estate vineyards in Contessa Entellina. Following an 8-hour soft pressing and 48-hour settling period in stainless steel tanks, the wine fermented on indigenous yeasts. This Grillo spent 6 months on the fine lees before bottling.
The 2021 Vurría Grillo is brilliant in the glass with a pale gold color and lemon reflections. If you’re a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, then this is a must-try vintage for you. Exuberant aromas of gooseberry, ripe honeydew melon, fragrant honeysuckle, candied pineapple, green papaya, white grapefruit zest, and wet stones leap from the glass. Similar concentrated, intense flavors envelope the palate . The wine has an appealing balance of fruity notes and savory characteristics, including minerals and a crisp salinity derived from volcanic soils. With robust mouthwatering acidity, inviting texture, medium body, and a flavorful finish, this is a white wine you won’t be able to stop drinking. The Vurría Grillo is certified organic and vegan friendly.
The Perfect Pairing for Grillo
Grillo is a delicious match for salads, vegetable dishes, and fresh seafood. For Di Giovanna’s Vurría Grillo Sicilia DOC 2021, I decided to whip up a summer citrus salad with mozzarella, avocado, fresh mint, and my all-time favorite olive oil from Di Giovanna. This wine pairing was simply divine. The grapefruit and slightly sweet Cara Cara oranges with tangy lemon zest enhance the citrus and tropical notes found in Grillo. While the wine’s vibrant acidity complements the acidity of the citrus, as well as the creaminess of the mozzarella, avocado, and olive oil. Plus, the mint of the citrus salad enlivens the floral aromas and fruity flavors of the wine.
Di Giovanna 2021 Vurría Nerello Mascalese Rosato Sicilia DOC
I first fell in love with Di Giovanna’s Nerello Mascalese Rosato when I tasted the 2019 vintage two years ago. Needless to say, I’m still wholly enamored and completely impressed. The 2021 Rosato is made with 100% Nerello Mascalese. A soft pressing on the skins for 3 hours resulted in a delicate, pale pink color. This wine was vinified in stainless steel tanks, then aged on the fine lees for six months before bottling.
The 2021 Vurría Rosato offers an enticing bouquet with delicate floral notes, plus more pronounced aromas of pomegranate, red cherry, orange citrus, and macchia or wild herbs. The palate is refreshing with light-to-medium body, balanced acidity, and a mineral-driven finish derived from the limestone and tuffaceous soil of Contessa Entellina. This wine is also certified organic and vegan friendly.
A Mouthwatering Match for Nerello Mascalese Rosato
Nerello Mascalese Rosato is a mouthwatering match for dishes with spices, fresh herbs, or a little bit of heat. I created a memorable pasta pairing just for the Di Giovanna 2021 Vurría Nerello Mascalese Rosato Sicilia DOC. To be honest, I have been craving this pasta ever since. The orecchiette pasta with a parsley walnut pesto, asparagus, and spicy sausage was absolutely divine. I ordered handmade orecchiette pasta from Puglia just for the occasion.
This is a fresh take on pesto which uses rich walnuts and flat-leaf parsley instead of basil and pine nuts for a delectable spin on the classic recipe. The asparagus and walnut parsley pesto enhance both the herbal and tart, red fruit flavors of the Nerello Mascalese. While the spicy pork sausage is tempered by the wine’s refreshing acidity, which also balances the richness of the walnuts.
Get my recipe for orecchiette pasta with walnut parsley pesto, asparagus, and spicy sausage here.