The name Donnafugata, literally “woman in flight”, refers to the story of Hapsburg queen Maria Carolina, wife of Bourbon king Ferdinando IV who, in the early 19th century, fled Naples at the arrival of the French troops of Murat and took refuge in the heart of the Belice area of Sicily. The writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, in his famous novel “The Leopard”, then indicated with the name Donnafugata the possessions of the Prince of Salina.
The Donnafugata firm was created by a family which, for 150 years, has strongly believed in the oenological potential of the land of its origins.
Giacomo Rallo and his wife Gabriella, both pure-blooded Sicilians and both convinced that, to grow, it is always necessary to be open to the changes which are occurring in the world, began a new project in 1983, an entrepreneurial adventure. The point of departure were the historic cellars of the family at Marsala and the vineyards of the Contessa Entellina area, and the search for exceptional quality arrived as far as the island of Pantelleria. Their children, José and Antonio, have now joined their parents in the firm, enabling the house to grow at an even faster pace and become one of the symbols of the rebirth of Sicilian wine.
The family project is based by total attention to every single detail in order to achieve objectives which are constantly more ambitious, that of realizing the entire potential of the territory with an absolute respect for the environment and the typical character of Sicilian wine.
This philosophy is even more present in the production of the firm’s most important wines, the crus of Contessa Entellina and of Pantelleria.
Mille e una Notte is a red wine which blends Nero d’Avola with small percentages of other native varieties, an impenetrable ruby red in color, ample on the nose and structured on the palate. Vigna di Gabri, instead, is a fragrant white wine, 100% Ansonica, named for Gabriella Rallo who deeply desired a wine of this type, a totally achieved example of the Ansonica grape which expresses all of its characteristics, a variety whose important potential has become even more widely accepted in recent years. Last but not least, Ben Rye, “son of the wind” in Arabic, a Passito di Pantelleria DOC, deep and of great complexity, a pride of the firm which proclaims its extraordinary character and expressiveness right from the start, from the amber-tinged yellow of exceptional brilliance.