A dream in continuous evolution

A dream in continuous evolution

We need to imagine a prosperous and great future for the Sicily of wine, believe it and take care of the generous land to create the dream, improving it more and more

A hard working rhythm marks the life of a land and of its men, raising nobility of soul and perpetuating ancient farming traditions. This rhythm revives the hours, days, months and years in Marsala, on the western strip of the island, a theatre reciting stories of farmers, women and men, immersed in the laborious work of the land.

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Today, as it was in the past, the Pellegrino family, having reached their sixth generation, lead the entrepreneurial dream which began in 1880. The warm Marsala days offer their enchanting beauty. While well kept vineyards extend among the most wonderful agricultural estates of the area, we can taste the beneficial changes the work has done in the area.

“We need to imagine a prosperous and great future for the Sicily of wine, believe in it and take care of the generous land so as to create a dream, improving it more and more” said Paolo Pellegrino, founder of the Winery. Thus the secret of the success is the love that has been passed down through generations, that takes care of and protects Marsala and its wine. In this way since far away 1880, the Pellegrino family has written its own history, becoming one of the most important families of Sicilian wine.

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Great as regards its dimensions, and the number of human resources within the company, and as regards the experience gained in over a hundred and thirty years: a trip through time in which it has been possible to weave the thread of a story, that of the wine, directly to the enhancement of the Sicilian territory, extending the production project to include white and red wines and muscats and passitos of Pantelleria and Marsala.

The Pellegrino family have identified the most suitable areas for the cultivation of indigenous vine varieties, choosing which ones to produce in each individual estate, located throughout the countryside between Marsala and Trapani. The family have also elected Pantelleria as their beloved island, investing there in the production of fine wines. Today Pellegrino is named among the wineries that marked the history of modern Sicilian oenology, and its wines are recognized as the expression of a unique terroir.

Wines that show the essence of their land of origin, transmitting to us the deep and intriguing complexity of a changeable and fertile land.

Carlo Pellegrino’s logo on the front of the country family house.

An entrepreneurial soul

An entrepreneurial soul

“He who has inherited or created a heritage carries the social responsibility of how to use it also taking into account the needs of the territory, with the obligation to handle it in an entrepreneurial manner.”

During the long Pellegrino history, the thread of the wine has intersected with that of social commitment. A deep connection with the land of origin that is expressed in its entrepreneurial activities, born and developed not only for the enhancement of wine, but also for that of the agricultural and natural resources that characterize it. </p

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“He who has inherited or created a heritage carries the social responsibility of how use it also taking into account the needs of the territory, with the obligation to handle it in an entrepreneurial manner“ is the inspiring thought at the base of the family’s choices. From here the will to devote itself to productions directed to the highlighting and protection of the natural beauty of the landscape. From here comes the production of alternative energy, using the force of the wind that continuously blows in the territory of Trapani.

Then there are age-old olive groves, cultivated together with orchards, cereals and vegetables in the family’s estates on the side of the vineyards; agricultural productions carried out according to the dictates of certified organic produce, with the method of crop rotation, in order to follow the cycle of the seasons and to enrich the land with precious nutritional elements. Finally the salt marshes, with their windmills, for the production of integral sea salt, white gold among the best in the world, from which take its fame the western strip of the island.

So the family, from one generation to another, has become the sentinel and caretaker of its own land, from which it draws the best results.

Josephine Despagne, a lady at the head of Cantine Pellegrino.

Custodians of Art and Nature

Custodians of Art and Nature

“Small and big actions that are the evidence of a deep love between the Pellegrino family and the lands in which they work”

Alongside the choices that are aimed at protecting the territory, there is art and culture, an immense heritage inherited from the island, to be protected and handed down. The result of this is the preservation and the custody of precious collections of agricultural tools and of nineteenth century Sicilian carts that have been put on permanent display among the suggestive barrels of the historic winery.

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The Ingham Whitaker archive, with a hundred and ten volumes that reveal the birth of marsala wine, documented by commercial agreements. The remains of the ancient Punic civilization, that surrounds the historical wineries, have become instead the symbol of a noble and glorious past. As has a mould of a Punic warship, donated by an English archaeologist to the Pellegrino Family for having finances its recovery.

All of this is evidence of the attachment to Marsala, beyond the wine, as well as the financing of restoration works to the Mother Church of the town. And then there are the islands, fragile landscapes, to be preserved and protected. Particularly loved, protected and supported is Pantelleria, an island where Pellegrino produces fine nectars. Arriving there in 1992, since that time the family has never dissolved that deep romantic connection that continues to put down roots. Here the winery is the primary producer of wine from zibibbo grapes, coming from vineyards of local vine growers, who in this way see their hard work supported, work which is fruit of an ancient knowledge, the cultivation of the sapling grape vine, recognized by Unesco in the World Heritage list. Feeling close to the island, which is difficult to cultivate but generous and of a rare beauty, the family has took to its defence with the initiative “Together for Pantelleria”, to help restore the precious Pantelleria eco-system, affected by terrible fires, through the creation of a garden centre aimed at the reproduction of destroyed endemic species.

Even the Egadi Islands, a small archipelago overlooking the coast of Trapani, owe their greenery to the support of the Pellegrino family, who has enhanced their Mediterranean brush with about a million plants including Aleppo pines, eucalyptus and cypresses, reforesting more than a thousand hectares of land. Small and big actions that are the evidence of a deep love between Pellegrino family and the lands where they produce their wine.

Punic age archeological site located in the garden of Ouverture wine tasting building.

A never imagined story

A never imagined story

“It all began in 1880, when the notary Paolo Pellegrino, a passionate wine grower, founded the winery destined to become one of the most important in Sicily”

There is no great novel without a true Once upon a time. And to tell the story of the Pellegrino Wineries, we need to go back to the past, retracing more than a hundred and thirty years of experience in vineyards and wineries; narrating the continuous story in which passion and family commitment intertwine.

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It all began in 1880, when the notary Paolo Pellegrino, a passionate wine grower, founded the winery destined to become one of the most important in Sicily. But the vision that pushed him to create a dream was an act of redemption and love for Marsala wine. From that moment that dream lead the family to change the fate of Sicilian wine, with male authority and female sensitivity, qualities melted together and handed down from generation to generation.

The first woman to take over the management of the company was the gentlewoman Josephine Despagne, wife of Carlo Pellegrino. Thanks to her sensitivity for the vines, inherited from her father, the eno-technician Oscar Pierre Despagne, from Sauternais, Josephine brought her French knowledge as a dowry into that land kissed by the sun, and together with Carlo she lead the Pellegrino family to a never imagined future.

From that moment, the image of Marsala wine evolved in the hands of a family that then became the greatest family of Sicilian wine.

Ingham-Whitaker accounting books, year 1890.

Pellegrino Timeline – since 1880 to present

  • 1880


    Paolo Pellegrino fonda le Cantine Pellegrino / Paolo Pellegrino founds the Pellegrino Winery

  • 1890


    Viene costruita l’attuale sede a Marsala / The current winery of Marsala is built

  • 1925


    Le cantine avviano la vendita nei mercati esteri / Sales begin in international markets

  • 1933


    Una donna francese, Josephine Despagne, prende le redini dell’azienda / Josephine Despagne is the first woman who manages the company

  • 1950


    La produzione viene ampliata e vengono costruiti i due grandi silos, oggi “Torri Pellegrino” / The two large silos are built, today known as Torri Pellegrino 

  • 1960


    La Pellegrino si espande nei mercati oltreoceano: StatiUniti e Australia / Pellegrino winery expands into overseas markets: United States and Australia

  • 1980


    La Pellegrino acquista la tenuta Gazzerotta e avvia la produzione di vini bianchi e rossi / With the purchase of the Gazzerotta estate, the production of white and red wines begins

  • 1992


    Nasce la cantina di Pantelleria e si avvia la produzione di moscati e passiti dell’isola / The Pantelleria winery is born, dedicated to the production of moscato and passito

  • 2004


    Prosegue l’espansione produttiva dei vini e si inaugura la cantina di Cardilla / Cardilla winery, dedicated to white and red wines, is inaugurated

  • 2014


    Si inaugura la struttura enoturistica “Ouverture” / The Ouverture, a structure dedicated to wine tourism, is inaugurated

  • 2017


    Nasce la linea di vini delle “Tenute di Famiglia” / The “Tenute di Famiglia” wine range is born