Chosen territories for Grand Cru wines

Chosen territories
for Grand Cru wines

“The four territories that have been chosen to express the best of some of their vines, in which they have found their natural habitat”

The journey through the Pellegrino family’s lands, which have been cultivated with care and respect for tradition since 1880, begins here. Let’s walk down 150 hectares of land, known turf by turf, to discover four estates each with a completely different terroir.

From the sea to the plateau, from the flourishing garden to the rugged, desert-like land, the four territories need to bring out the best from certain vine varieties that have found their natural habitat there, thanks to specific climate and soil conditions that make the bunches of grapes healthy and perfumed, rich in aromas and able to express the enduring elegance of Sicilian wines.

For the family, each estate is an experimentation field, where many years of research in the vineyard have made it possible to recognize the different soils and most suitable climates for the cultivation of each cultivar, able to offer us valuable grapes destined to the creation of Grand Cru wines.

Salinaro, the vineyards by the sea

Salinaro, the vineyards by the sea

ALTITUDE: altitude zero above sea level | SOIL: Calcareous and sandy soil
CLIMATE: located at 800m from the sea, it is an area which enjoys the mitigating effect of sea breezes which reduce the maximum temperatures.

“Walking over the soil, just few metres from the sea, we can feel the warm African wind caresse us, cooled by marine currents”

And we are at Salinaro, that takes its name from the salt marshes that rise along the coast of Trapani. Fourteen hectares of chalky, sandy soil, belonging to the Red Lands of the Mediterranean. Walking over the soil, at just a few metres from the sea, the warm African wind caresses us, cooled by marine currents.

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The land, naturally irrigated, benefits from the maximum splendour of the sun and becomes a cradle where Grillo grapes shine brightly in the sun. Years of experimentation and agricultural treatments, have allowed Tenuta Salinaro to be elected as mother land of the most honourable Sicilian white berry vine variety which has a bright future. Here the beneficial action of sea breezes makes the berries savoury and aromatic, while they slowly ripen pampered by the sun. And that’s how Salinaro was born, a fresh and balanced white wine, accompanied by a citrus and floral bouquet. It is reminiscent of the fresh sea breeze that bring with it the Sicilian elegance, full of textures that recall cedar, grapefruit and lemon, with sweet vanilla hints. Salinaro is a pure Sicilian essence: modest and carefree both for its fragrance; rich and opulent and for its structure.

Kelbi, the flourishing garden

Kelbi, the flourishing garden

ALTITUDE: 150m slm | SOIL: calcareous and sandy soil, it has a good balance between air and water in the soil, besides a rich water reserve.
CLIMATE: an area located in Sicily’s interior, it experiences sharp temperature diff erences between day and night while the maximum temperatures are mitigated by the winds.

“Nineteen hectares bought in the 1800s, surrounded by Mediterranean shrub, reveal to a man’s eyes the charm of a flourishing garden”

Let’s leave the coast to move towards the Sicilian hinterland, discovering Kelbi, the estate that takes its name from the Arab dynasty that made the land of Sicily flourish. Nineteen hectares bought in the 1800s, surrounded by Mediterranean shrub, reveal to one’s eyes the charm of a flourishing garden.

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A fertile ground, that benefits from the perfect balance between air and water in its soil, a precious cradle for Catarratto. We are a hundred and fifty metres above sea level, with strong daily temperature fluctuations, cooled down by the wind. The covering of the grapes, through a careful handling of the foliage, was developed as a cultivation technique to protect the bunches and the typically green coloured berries. Kelbi gives life to the Pellegrino Cru di Catarratto, famous for its particular freshness and structure. An elegant and aromatic white wine, in which violet, orange blossom and elderberry notes melt together with intense lemon and grapefruit aromas, with pleasant almond hints.

Gazzerotta, the large plateau

Gazzerotta, the large plateau

ALTITUDE: 20m slm | SOIL: Clayey soil rich in minerals.
CLIMATE: Area subject to water stress and at risk of high maximum temperatures due to the distance from the sea.

“Chosen by the family as the cradle of nero d’avola, a red berry vine, the prince of Sicily”

The biggest of the four Pellegrino estates takes its name from the elegant black and white magpie that fly over the barren fields in autumn. Gazzerotta, with its ninety hectares of land, has been chosen by the family as the cradle of the nero d’avola, a red berry vine, the prince of Sicily.

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The land, in an internal area of the province of Trapani, has a deep brown colour, characterized by a geology which is clayey and rich in minerals. Here the viticulture of the family adopts cultivation techniques that pamper the plants, defoliating and exposing them to accentuate their exposition to the sun.

La carenza di acqua nelle prime fasi di crescita degli acini li rende particolarmente concentrati, con più buccia e meno polpa, dal colore intenso e dagli aromi persistenti. Nero d’avola Gazzerotta esprime infatti la maestosità del vitigno siciliano, morbido ma ricco in struttura, con la verve di grande rosso di Sicilia.

Charming in its intense red colour with garnet red tints, the Cru releases complex aromas of red fruit, plum, cherry, and violet, with slight hints of rosemary. A mysterious and austere red, that gives back to the nero d’avola its regality.

Ancient vineyards in the heart of Gazzerotta

“n more than thirty-five years it has developed a strong structure, stumps of large dimensions and deep roots”

Gazzerotta, because of its great extension, is suitable for the cultivation of many vines. And it is right here that, in addition to Nero D’avola, two ancient Grillo vineyards grow which were implanted in 1981 and 1982, when grafts used to be done in the field and the scions on the best mother plants were chosen. Here the vine, characterized by lush plants and arranged to interact with the terroir of origin in over thirty-five years has developed a strong structure, stumps of large dimensions and deep roots, adapting to the soil and climate conditions of the area until it was able to evade in part the water stress conditions to which the area is prone. The thermal stress, caused by the distance from the sea, is mitigated by the Sicilian traditional espalier system, also called “endorsed sapling”, that disposes the canopy in a way to allow the best protection of the grapes from the sunlight. The age of the plants, the clayey richness of the calcium carbonate soil with adhesiveness and the conditions of thermal stress represent the determining factors to express a structured wine, with a great character, complex and persistent aromatic characteristics.

Rinazzo, rugged and desert-like lands

Rinazzo, rugged and desert-like lands

ALTITUDE: 100m slm | SOIL: Sandy paleo beach with semi-arid soil on a clayey substrate.
CLIMATE: Semi-arid, with harsh living conditions, it is characterised by sharp temperature diff erences between day and night, typical of desert areas.

“Only Sirah, with its natural adaptability to the most hostile environments, could have vigorously grown in this estate characterized by a unique terroir”

The journey through the family’s estates ends at Rinazzo, the land of the ancient fief given in 1131 by Ruggero II the Norman to the religious order of Basilian and later to the Jesuits. Right in this corner of the Sicily, steeped in history, where in olden times the Jesuits vegetable garden was located, Pellegrino owns eleven hectares of vineyard completely cultivated with Sirah, from which the precious and unique Rinazzo has been created, which completes the wine range of the winery’s estates.

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Here the temperature variations are very strong, the environment is not at all lush, the soil is poor in elements and this means that the plant develops very small berries and with a thick peel, still exposed to the water scarcity and to the sun. But these are the conditions which bring out the best in syrah, making it structured and spicy, with elegant notes of cloves, marasca cherry, rosemary, black pepper and pomegranate. These aromas, together with its velvety softness, make it a sensual and mysterious red wine.