Sicily. At Ficuzza the “bubbles” of altitude for a lion’s toast


Ficuzza farm is Sicily that you do not expect. It’s a story of passionate courage, that of brothers Alberto and Diego Cusumano, who right here, in Ficuzza, have started the new course of the winery that now takes a sip of their Sicily around the world.


Ficuzza is located in Piana degli Albanesi, between Palermo and Trapani, on hills that exceed 700 meters above sea level. This means that there is a good temperature range: during the day it is hot because of the exposure to the sun of the vineyards, in the evening the temperature drops, thanks to the hill wind.
“We went against the current – says Diego Cusumano, owner, with his brother Alberto, of Cusumano. – We have chosen to alternate the vineyard with the Mediterranean scrub, which in this area has over 1500 botanical essences, all documented in the Bourbon Palace of Ficuzza. The result is a “mosaic” texture. We have adopted a Guyot pruning, not common in Sicily, but fundamental in such a particular estate, for altitude, for the large nature reserve of the park that surrounds it, for the landscape that characterizes it so decidedly. Even the rows are arranged differently, around the hill, which makes it easier for us to harvest, allowing a uniform ripening on the plot.
The altitude and the soil provide the right stimulus for the Pinot Noir to develop in all its elegance. Elegance that, with the addition of a little Chardonnay from the same estate, distinguishes the strong character of the classic method sparkling wine 700 above sea level. The rest is the result of vinification and fermentation at controlled temperature of the must flower only to preserve the acidity valuable for its longevity. After five months, the second fermentation in the bottle begins, followed by 36 months of rest on the yeasts. The result is an elegant bubble, which expresses its refined taste also in the details of the black label and the sinuous lines of the dark glass bottle, to be placed, for special occasions, in the carved wooden box, which bears the mark of the lion, symbol of Cusumano.
But the bubbles of altitude of 700 are not the only daughters of this unusual corner of Sicily. Insolia and Chardonnay grow in Ficuzza. From these vines are born Jalé wines, from pure Chardonnay grapes, and Cubìa, 100% Insolia. From a blend of Chardonnay and Insolia that come from these plots is also born Angimbé, which takes its name from the nearby forest. Syrah, Nero d’Avola and above all Pinot Noir, a vine known to be difficult, but also elegant, have also been planted in Ficuzza. In addition to the 700 m above sea level, it is used to produce a rosé, the Ramusa, which takes its name from the rocky mountain overlooking the western part of the forest of Ficuzza.

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