Donna in Fuga - Woman in Flight

Nearly thirty years ago a woman who loved wine opened up a wine shop at the tip of the Charleston Peninsula. At that time, Charleston wasn't the wine and food mecca we know it as today. Despite that, she proceeded with her venture and ever so simply, even cleverly, named her store The Wine Shop of Charleston. Fast forward to April of 2020 and another passionate woman bought the store and ever so simply, even cleverly, kept the name.
Given the dedication and hard work of these two pioneering women and that the Shop has been female owned since the very beginning, we here at The Wine Shop love to highlight all the Vigneronnes' out there, be it female winemakers, winery owners and producers, wine growers or all of the above. And since March is International Women's Month, what better time to feature one of these fabulous ladies! We've chosen to go with José Rallo, CEO, singer and winemaker of Donnafugata in Sicily.
The Tasting will be Wednesday March 9th, the day after International Women's Day, but we've got the whole month to celebrate!
We'll begin with Donnafugata's flagship and their most enjoyed wine in the world, the Anthilla. A light and easy-drinking white, the Anthilla is made from Catarrato, which is indigenous to Sicily. Like all of Donnafugata's wines, the labels are all creatively artistic and pay homage to literature and the arts, the label of the Anthilla depicts the face of a woman, mysterious and fleeting like the Elymian civilization. Anthìlia is the name given to the city of Entella on the top of the Rocca in Roman times. Today, Anthìlia is the name of a wine that is identified with the ancient territory where it has its roots. It is the first wine to have been conceived at Donnafugata and still remains to this day in the hearts of many admirers.

Speaking of literature and the arts, the name Donnafugata refers to the novel Il Gattapardo (The Leopard) by Tomasi Di Lampedusa. Literally translated, “Donna in Fuga” means Woman in Flight and refers to the story of a queen who found refuge in the part of Sicily where the company’s vineyards are located today.

Our second wine of the evening will be an aromatic white made from Zibibbo.Thought to originate in Egypt, Zibibbo does exceedingly well on coastal Mediterranean terroir. Let's forget the fact that this wine is ridiculously good and go back and focus on the label. Like a phoenix, a mermaid is just beginning to rise from the sea during sunset. What truly draws us to it though, is the Italian saying describing her.

Dai disordinati capelli color di sole l'acqua del mare colava sugli occhi verdi apertissimi...

Which translates to: "From her unruly sun-colored hair, the sea water dripped over her wide-open green eyes..."

We just love it. What can we say, it's the romantic in us.

Next up will be the Sul Vulcano Etna Rosso. As far as terroir and soil types go, volcanic soil is easily one of our favorites. There's ancient and non-ancient volcanic soil all over the wine growing world. Even parts of Napa and Sonoma have volcanic soil types. But Mount Etna is something else entirely. This isn't ancient soil, no no. This is active volcanic soil. These people are growing grapes on and around and active volcano. The next time you see either a red or white from Mount Etna and question why they can be so pricey, remember what these people are doing! Their "office", their job site, is on an active volcano. That's a good enough reason to pay a little extra for something super cool. And that's the thing, the complexities and textures that volcanic soil like this imparts is wild! As for the Sicilians who are making these wines, we'll just chalk it up to the Italian being crazy. In The Godfather when Calo tells Michael Corleone, "In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns," we'd like to assume that author Mario Puzo had something like these growers in mind when he wrote that line.

Concluding the evening will be a little Passito, an Italian dessert wine. Also made from Zibibbo the vintage Ben Ryé is without question one of our absolute favorite dessert wines period. This exquisite sweetie is perfect for after dinner to accompany dessert or just as a liquid dessert. And it's not just the chocolate that it plays well with, but if you wanted to go savory pair it with foie gras in lieu of Sauternes or gorgonzola (bleu cheese).

The lineup is pretty killer and if there's any Tasting not to miss, it's this one. Clearly we're pretty excited about it! So come on out and help us celebrate women of the wine world, especially the uber talented José Rallo and International Women’s Month.

See you there!
Salud,

The Wine Shop Team


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