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Brilliant ruby red with violet reflections, Bell’Assai offers a fragrant bouquet with intense flowery notes of violets and roses combined with aromas of fresh strawberries and raspberries. On the palate, it shows great freshness supported by soft tannins.
Bell’Assai DOC Frappato di Vittoria
The Rallo family has made wine in Marsala since 1851 and their ancient cellars tunnel beneath the city. They were one of the first families to begin making high quality table wine when sales of traditional Marsala started to decline, launching the Donnafugata label in 1983 and championing the potential of the region’s native varieties. Today, Donnafugata has four estates in Sicily: a modern winery and 283 hectares at Contessa Entellina in the hills east of Marsala; 36 hectares in Vittoria to the south eastern point of the island; 68 hectares on the island of Pantelleria; and 18 hectares on the slopes of Etna. Donnafugata means ‘fleeing woman’ and is a reference to Queen Maria Carolina, who escaped the court of Naples in the early 19th century with her husband, Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, when Napoleon’s troops arrived. The couple took refuge in Sicily at the Santa Margherita Belice palace, also the favourite residence of celebrated writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and depicted on the ‘Mille e una Notte’ label.
The vineyards for this wine are located in Acate, in south-east Sicily, at an altitude of 120-150 metres above sea level. The gently sloping terrains have sandy soils with a substratum of calcareous tuff and clay. Vines are trained to vertical shoot position with cordon pruning, leaving 6-10 buds per plant.
On arrival at the winery, the grapes were fermented in stainless-steel tanks with maceration on the skins for about 8-9 days at a temperature of 24-25°C. After malolactic fermentation, the wine aged in tank for four months and then in bottle for at least three months before release.