Wine Culture and Information - Volume 12
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  Wine Producers Issue 23, October 2004   
Carlo PellegrinoCarlo Pellegrino Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
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Carlo Pellegrino

The historical Sicilian winery, whose name is connected to the renowned Marsala wine, although it is still committed to the production of this great wine, it is also involved in the production of table wines and sweet wines from Pantelleria

 Everything began more than two hundreds years ago, when an English businessman whose name is now history - John Woodhouse, son of a merchant of Liverpool - who in 1773 was forced, because of a storm, to land with his ship Elizabeth in the port of Marsala. In that occasion the young John Woodhouse drunk the wine which was produced in the area and he realized it had many similarities with other renowned and appreciated wines of those times: Jerez (Sherry), Madeira and Port. He understood he could make profits from the trading of that wine and he decided to send to his homeland England fifty pipes of 4 hectoliters each. Before shipping the wine, Woodhouse added some alcohol to the wine in order to make it more resistant to the stress of the journey and he stayed in Marsala waiting for the result. Like he predicted, the wine was successful and John Woodhouse started a profitable production of this wine and therefore writing his name in the pages of Italian enology's history. After his success, some Italian families began the production of Marsala wine, among them - and among the most important ones for the history and development of this great wine - there is Carlo Pellegrino.


The Nave Punica hall in the historical cellars
at Marsala
The Nave Punica hall in the historical cellars at Marsala

 Carlo Pellegrino was established in 1880 at Marsala by Paolo Pellegrino, notary and viticulturist. It was the beginning of the enterprise which led the winery to become nowadays successful worldwide with its wines. Paolo Pellegrino, with the help of his son Carlo - notary and agronomist - was successful in transforming the winery, established as a family business, and in few years become one of the most flourishing wine industries of Marsala. When his father passed away, Carlo took his place and with the help of his wife Josephine Despagne, a French gentlewoman daughter of wine maker Oscar Pierre Despagne, who brought to the winery the experience and knowledge of her family which was from Sauternes. The winery continued its expansion even in the next generations and Paolo Pellegrino, son of Carlo and Josephine, become the winery's director of management and with the help of his brother-in-law Vincenzo Alagna, they were successful in marketing their wines in the most important countries of the world. The production headquarter was expanded and in the 1930's the area occupied by the winery was increased threefold.

 Today Carlo Pellegrino owns three operational units, including the historical cellar in Marsala, with a total capacity of 200,000 hectoliters (of which 40,000 in oak casks), a second vinification cellar, in contrada Cardilla, downtown Marsala, with a capacity of 7,000 hectoliters. In 1992 Carlo Pellegrino winery has established a third cellar in Pantelleria island, equipped with the most modern technologies for wine making, and that allowed the revaluation of the famous wines Moscato and Passito di Pantelleria. This wines expand the production range besides the historical Marsala wines and interesting table wines produced with the “Duca di Castelmonte” branding. In the course of its history, from 1880 up to nowadays, Carlo Pellegrino winery has experienced a continuous growth up to becoming one of the most important wine industries of Sicily, not only for the production and commercialization of Marsala, but also for Pantelleria and table wines, both DOC and IGT. The winery has today 66 employees and produces more than 7,000,000 bottles per year, with an income that in 2003 reached 19 millions euros. Among the main foreign countries in which Carlo Pellegrino is present there is Great Britain, Switzerland, France, Germany, Canada, United States of America, Japan and South Korea.


The winery of Pantelleria at contrada Kuddie Rosse
The winery of Pantelleria at contrada Kuddie Rosse

 As for production, Marsala wines represent 24% of total income, Pantelleria wines 20%, table wines 39%, whereas the remaining 17% is represented by Sicilian sweet wines: Zibibbo, Malvasia and Moscato liquoroso IGT. The winery systems for quality management and environmental management are respectively certified as ISO 9001/2000 and ISO 14001. The family farms occupy an area of more than 300 hectares (740 acres) in the area of Gazzerotta, Kelbi, Ramisella, Rinazzo and San Nicola “Gorghi Tondi”. Located in the most suited areas of western Sicily, these areas represent a huge richness of soils, microclimates and varieties of cultivated vines. Rinazzo is the territory in which is cultivated the Syrah grape, its soil is dry and clayey, and thanks to its particular climatic conditions, it is very suited for the cultivation of this variety. The “San Nicola” farm is located in the neighboring of Mazara del Vallo, and occupies an area of 115 hectares (280 acres), part of them being in the WWF park “Gorghi Tondi”. Its soil is made of clay and, thanks to its ideal microclimate, the area is particularly suited for Grillo and Chardonnay grapes used for the production of Gorgo Tondo Bianco wine, and for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Nero d'Avola grapes used for the production of Gorgo Tondo Rosso.

 The “Gazzerotta” farm, which occupies an area of about 90 hectares (220 acres) in the territory of Mazara del Vallo, is located in a territory which is included in the Delia Nivolelli DOC, one of the 19 denominations of controlled origin in Sicily. Today, in the 78 hectares (190 acres) at Gazzerotta are being successfully cultivated autochthonous and international grapes, such as Nero d'Avola, Inzolia, Grillo, Zibibbo (Muscat of Alexandria) and Malvasia Bianca, as well as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Carlo Pellegrino owns a modern winery in the Pantelleria island - in contrada Kuddie Rosse - in which they invested huge resources for the revaluation and the production of the famous Moscato and Passito di Pantelleria, one of the many wines who made Sicily renowned. The main winery is located in Marsala and occupies an area of about 30,000 square meters (about 7,5 acres), has an aging capacity of 200,000 hectoliters and a modern bottling line capable of producing an average of 10,500 bottles per hour.


 

 The production of this historical winery is divided into two brands: Carlo Pellegrino and Duca di Castelmonte. The Carlo Pellegrino branding is used for the renowned Marsala, sweet Sicilian IGT wines and Pantelleria DOC. The Duca di Castelmonte branding is used for all table wines as well as for sweet and fortified wines. The range of Marsala produced by Carlo Pellegrino is pretty vast and interesting. The range begins with Marsala fine - also available in the “Ruby” style - three Marsala Superiore (Dry, Garibaldi Dolce and Oro), Marsala Vergine Soleras and the interesting Marsala Vergine Vintage 1980 - exclusively produced with Grillo grape - rich of complex and strong aromas, result of more than 20 years of aging in oak casks: a wonderful Marsala perfect as a “meditation” wine and that could be served in place of a distillate. As for wines of Duca di Castelmonte branding are to be mentioned, among the many, the new and interesting red wine Tripudium, produced with Nero d'Avola, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, the very good Passito di Pantelleria NES, and the enchanting grappa Moscato Passito di Pantelleria, reviewed in the “Aquavitae” column.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Passito di Pantelleria Liquoroso 2003, Carlo Pellegrino (Italy)
Passito di Pantelleria Liquoroso 2003
Carlo Pellegrino (Italy)
Grapes: Moscato d'Alessandria (Zibibbo)
Price: € 10,60 - 500ml Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a pale golden yellow color and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas that start with hints of grape, almond and dried fig followed by aromas of apricot jam, chamomile, date, citrus fruit peel and peach. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a sweet and smooth attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of grape, apricot jam and peach. This wine ages for 2 months in bottle.
Food Match: Confectionery, Almond cakes, Hard cheese



Passito di Pantelleria NES Duca di Castelmonte 2003, Carlo Pellegrino (Italy)
Passito di Pantelleria NES Duca di Castelmonte 2003
Carlo Pellegrino (Italy)
Grapes: Moscato d'Alessandria (Zibibbo)
Price: € 23,00 - 500ml Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows a pale amber yellow color and nuances of golden yellow, transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas that start with hints of grape, orange marmalade, dried fig and candied fruit followed by aromas of dried apricot, date, peach jam, honey, lavender and hints of enamel. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a sweet and round attack, however well balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is very persistent with flavors of grape, orange marmalade, dried apricot, dried fig and date. A well made wine. This passito di Pantelleria ages for 6 months in bottle.
Food Match: Confectionery, Almond and fruit cakes, Hard cheese



Marsala Fine Ruby, Carlo Pellegrino (Italy)
Marsala Fine Ruby
Carlo Pellegrino (Italy)
Grapes: Pignatello, Nerello Mascalese
Price: € 8,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This Marsala shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, little transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean and pleasing aromas which start with hints of blackberry jam and black cherry jam followed by aromas of raspberry jam , strawberry jam, dried violet, vanilla and hints of pink pepper. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack, sweet and round, however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry jam, strawberry jam and blackberry jam. This Marsala Ruby ages for more than one year in cask, at least 3 months in barrique and about 4 months in bottle.
Food Match: Fruit desserts, Fruit tarts, Chocolate tarts



Marsala Superiore Oro, Carlo Pellegrino (Italy)
Marsala Superiore Oro
Carlo Pellegrino (Italy)
Grapes: Grillo, Catarratto
Price: € 8,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This Marsala shows a brilliant amber yellow color and nuances of amber yellow, transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas that start with hints of dried fig, caramel and the typical hint of Marsala followed by aromas of apricot jam, date, almond, citrus fruit peel and vanilla. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a sweet attack, alcoholic and round, however balanced, full body, good crispness, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of apricot jam, almond and dried fig. This Marsala Oro ages for more than two years in cask followed by about four months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Confectionery, Almond cakes, Hard and piquant cheese



Marsala Vergine Soleras, Carlo Pellegrino (Italy)
Marsala Vergine Soleras
Carlo Pellegrino (Italy)
Grapes: Grillo, Catarratto, Inzolia
Price: € 11,10 Score:
This Marsala shows a brilliant amber yellow color and nuances of amber yellow, transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with the characteristic hint of Marsala, dried fig and almond followed by aromas of leather, date, dried apricot, licorice, orange marmalade, walnut and enamel. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, an alcoholic attack and pleasing crispness, full body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of dried fig, almond and date. This Marsala ages for more than 5 years in cask.
Food Match: Hard and piquant cheese, Almond tarts



Marsala Vergine Vintage 1980, Carlo Pellegrino (Italy)
Marsala Vergine Vintage 1980
Carlo Pellegrino (Italy)
Grapes: Grillo
Price: € 16,00 - 375ml Score: Wine that excels in its category
This Marsala shows a brilliant amber yellow color and nuances of amber yellow, transparent. The nose reveals good personality with intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with the characteristic hint of Marsala, dried fig and orange marmalade followed by aromas of leather, date, dried apricot, porcino mushroom, licorice, walnut, vanilla, almond, enamel and hints of coffee. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, an alcoholic and round attack, however balanced, full body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of dried fig, almond and coffee. A well made wine. This Marsala ages for more than twenty years in barrique followed by at least 6 months of aging in bottle. It is perfect also drunk alone or served in place of a distillate.
Food Match: Hard and piquant cheese, Almond tarts



Carlo Pellegrino & C. S.p.A. - Via del Fante, 39 - 91025 Marsala, Trapani (Italy) - Tel. +39 0923 719911 Fax. +39 0923 953542 - Winemaker: Gaspare Catalano (table wines), Enrico Stella (sweet and fortified wines) - Established: 1880 - Production: 7.013.000 bottles - E-Mail: info@carlopellegrino.it - WEB: www.carlopellegrino.it


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Cellar Journal


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 Wine Tasting  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Producers column Events 
  Wine Producers Issue 23, October 2004   
Carlo PellegrinoCarlo Pellegrino Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
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