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TENUTA CAPOFARO

SICILY

TENUTA CAPOFARO

SICILY



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ABOUT THE WINERY

Malvasia is one of the grape names that has been applied rather indiscriminately to a number of sort-of-similar but unrelated aromatic grape varieties. Among the gaggle of more than a dozen different Malvasias, one of the most respected examples is known as Malvasia di Lipari, named after a small island off the northeast corner of Sicily. Lipari is the largest of eight isles in this area collectively known as the Lipari Islands or, more often, the Aeolian Islands. 

The Aeolian Islands are known for their volcanism—two of the islands, Vulcano and Stromboli, are still active volcanoes—which has earned them a place on the World Heritage list. They are also known for a delicious sweet dessert wine made from the indigenous Malvasia di Lipari, a large portion of which is consumed by the thousands of tourists who come to enjoy the islands’ beautiful beaches and sunshine in the summer. 

The most attractive of the Aeolians is the island of Salina (where much of the movie Il Postino was filmed). The noble Tasca d’Almerita family, which has been at the forefront of production and research in Sicily’s wine industry since 1830, acquired 12 acres of vines in Malfa on the northeast point of Salina. The spot is called Capofaro, meaning Lighthouse Cape, and indeed an important lighthouse stands next to the vines, guiding the numerous interisland ferries and other boats around the headland.

At the time of purchase, the vineyards were planted with 30-year-old Malvasia vines, of which Tasca kept the healthy ones and filled in with new plantings. Modern viticultural practices were introduced with a particular goal of better protecting the grapes from sun and wind damage to maintain fresh flavors and aromas. This is demonstrated in one of the two wines made here, Dydime, an atypical Malvasia made with fresh grapes and finished dry. Tenuta Capofaro’s other wine, “Capofaro,” is closer to the traditional sweet dessert wine of the island, taking advantage of new technologies. The grapes are brought indoors intact after harvest and are laid out to dry in order to dehydrate them and concentrate their sugars and flavor components. After a few weeks of drying, they are vinified into a classic sweet island wine. However, Capofaro is not a traditional Malvasia delle Lipari DOC wine, which requires a small addition of a grape called Corinto Nero. Tasca prefers the pure expression of Malvasia and therefore the 100% Malvasia wine is made under the auspices of IGP Salina.

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WINERY LOCATION: Malfa, Salina Island (Messina province), Sicily
WINE REGIONS: IGT Salina
VINEYARD LAND: 11 acres (4.5 ha)
FARMING PRACTICES: Sustainable - SOStain Certified
GRAPE VARIETIES: Malvasia di Lipari
WINE STYLES: Dry white; sweet white
TOTAL WINE PRODUCTION: 26,000 bottles (16,000 liters)
YEAR FOUNDED: 2001
OWNER(S): The Tasca Family
WINEMAKER(S): Laura Orsi

WINES

TENUTA CAPOFARO “DIDYME” SALINA IGT

Tenuta Capofaro’s Didyme is grown on the beautiful island of Salina, a member of the Lipari (Aeolian) Islands north of mainland Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The ancient Greeks called the island Didyme, which translates as “twins,” referring to the pair of extinct volcanos that created the island. The wine is made from Malvasia di Lipari, a leading light in the Malvasia group of grape varieties. It is a dry aromatic wine that showcases this variety in its purest form, expressing the essence of the volcanic territory.

TENUTA CAPOFARO “CAPOFARO” SALINA IGT

Malvasia vineyards once covered much of Salina, and the island’s sweet wine provided a main source of income for the inhabitants. However, more than a century ago, the arrival of the vine-killing phylloxera pest brought an abrupt end to this cultivation. Only in the last few decades has the production of Malvasia wine started to return to Salina, and today winemaking is once again thriving on Salina. For this wine, Tenuta Capofaro uses Malvasia di Lipari vines from its Amphitheater Vineyard, so called because of the half-bowl shape of the vineyard. Capofaro partially dries the grapes in a temperature-controlled building in order to increase their sugar content. The resulting sweet wine is elegant with delicate fragrance and color.

LOCATION


WINERY:
Malfa, Salina Island (Messina province), Sicily

VINEYARD:
Malfa, Salina Island, Sicily

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NEWS AND REVIEWS FROM OUR FRIENDS IN THE INDUSTRY



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92
DECEMBER 2019
Tenuta Capofaro “Didyme” Salina IGT 2018

This opens with enticing scents of yellow stone fruit, rosemary, Mediterranean scrub and citrus. The savory, linear palate doles out juicy ripe apricot, Meyer lemon and crushed herbs before an energizing saline finish. It's balanced, with tangy acidity.

92
JUNE 2021
Tenuta Capofaro “Didyme” Salina IGT 2020

Pungently fresh wild flowers and ginger lift up from the 2020 Malvasia Didyme, nicely contrasted by an enriching note of brown spice. This is silky and enveloping, matched by a pleasant inner sweetness yet still completely fresh and balanced, with ripe orchard fruits and minerals giving way to pretty inner florals. There’s a lingering salty element mingling with the tropical citrus notes that resonate through the finale, and this keeps me coming back to the glass again and again. The 2020 is a beautiful rendition of Didyme.