The Hundred Horse Chestnut (Castagno dei Cento Cavalli), located in eastern Sicily, is...
said to be over 2,000 years old, and is thought to be the oldest known chestnut tree in the world. The tree's name is said to come from a legend in which a queen and one hundred knights were caught in a severe thunderstorm and had to shelter under it. It is as much a symbol of Sicily as the vine, which was brought to the island by the Greeks about 3,000 years ago. The wines are made by Alana McGettigan and Matt Thomson at a modern and well equipped winery in the hills outside of Trapani. The best sites on the estate's vineyards are reserved for Nero d'Avola and Grillo. Alana selects the best fruit from these vineyards for the Cento Cavalli wines.
The vineyards are in the hills outside Trapani, Western Sicily in the Erice region, close to the town of Fulgatore. Most of the vineyards are on a gentle slope, with tilled terra rossa soil, at an altitude ranging between 200-400 metres. The vines are trained in the guyot system.
In 2016 the winter in Sicily was warm and dry. Summer did not bring with it the customary African heat, with the exception of July, nor any of the much-desired rain. Yields were lower due to the hydric stress suffered by the vines, but lower crop levels meant that vines could ripen their grapes despite the lack of water. The resultant wines show good body with balanced acidity. The dry conditions slowed the ripening of red varieties, like Nero d’Avola, which were harvested earlier than usual to maintain freshness.
Grapes were machine harvested and transported to the winery where they were crushed, destemmed and put into temperature-controlled stainless steel fermenters. The must was inoculated for fermentation which lasted around five days at a maximum temperature of 30°C, then pumped over very gently several times a day. In order to control the extraction of the harsher tannins, the pump-overs were reduced at the end of ferment. The wine was then pressed gently and underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine was shipped to Verona shortly after fermentation and stored in temperature-controlled tanks before bottling.
Dark in colour with a fresh and ripe nose and hints of liquorice. On the palate, it is full and fleshy with grainy tannins and a dark plum and chocolate character.
|Grape varieties||100% Nero d`Avola|