Saturday, August 10, 2013

Calici di Stelle (wine goblets of stars) celebrates the magic of Night Harvest at Donnafugata, Marsala

Story and photo gallery by Dwight Casimere
Workers execute night harvest at Donnafugata Contessa Entellina estate
Dwight The Wine Doctor with Donnafugata owner Antonio Rallo

Workers hand sort grapes before crushing

Celebrants at Calici di Stelle

MARSALA, SICILY--More than 1500 wine enthusiasts turned up at Donnafugata's Contessa Entellina estate to celebrate Calici di Stelle (wine goblets of stars), the annual night harvest of Chardonnay grapes. This traditional event is promoted by the Wine Tourism Movement in Sicily and celebrates both the wine harvest, which is in full swing, thanks to the ideal weather conditions, and the night of San Lorenzo. Under a blanket of stars and a crescent moon, revelers tasted the latest vintages of Donnafugata wines, side-by-side with rare old vintages from the Donnafugata cellars. This was truly an experience for both amateur and experienced oenophiles! Among the stellar attractions, Mille e una Notte 2008, the winery's top wine offering and an icon of Scilian wine excellence. Also offered was one of Donnafugata's flagship wines, Tancredi 2004 with a vertical tasting of Tancredi 2007 for comparison. Magnifico! Among the whites, the elegant 2007 Chiandra, with its intense, but well-rounded flavor and of course, the famous award-winning Ben Rye' 2010, one of the most perfect expressions of Marsala ever created. Finishing the night with an excellent Grappa, there were olifactory fireworks that matched the brilliance of the stars and moon in the Sicilian sky!  Calici di Stelle was celebrated around the world with 65 events, including celebrations in Japan, Germany and the United States, and live streaming on the world wide web. Wine lovers were connected to Donnafugata owners Antonio and Jose Rallo live from Sicily for an innovative Social NetworkWine Experience. Utilizing live steaming on the internet, participants were able to experience the magic of the moonlit grape harvest on the dedicated channel YouTubeDonnafugataWine. The event was made vibrant with live music throughout the winery estate and the vineyards and the terrific wines that flowed into the wee hours of the morning. It was an historic event in a wine lover's paradise.  Bravissimo!        

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