Founded in 1983, the Donnafugata estate, which means "woman on the run" in Italian, reminds us of a time when Napoleon seized Naples and Maria Carolina, Queen of Naples, was forced to exile on the land of a local prince.
Giacomo Rallo, the founder of this estate located in northwestern Sicily, is the fourth generation of a family that has been producing high quality wines since 1851.
Spread over 5 different sites, the Donnafugata estate is unique due to its wide variety of terroirs, providing each wine with a unique style that reflects the richness of Sicilian terroirs.
Produced under the Passito di Pantelleria DOC appellation since 1989, this Ben Ryé wine by the Donnafugata estate comes from a vineyard located on the island of Pantelleria in south-west Sicily. The terroir is located on terraced slopes with deep, mineral-rich volcanic and sandy soils. The name of this wine means "Son of the Wind" in Arabic, as a constant wind sweeps through the vineyard.
2019 is characterised by lower yields than other vintages, due to heavy rainfall and a particularly cold and windy spring.
Vinification and ageing
Hand-picked and sorted in the vineyard, the grapes are transported to the winery in crates in order to respect the integrity of the fruit. Once in the cellar, the grapes are sorted and destemmed by hand, thus continuing the quest for excellence that has been the hallmark of the estate since its creation.
This Ben Ryé wine is made using the appassimento technique, which aims to develop the concentration of sugars and aromas through natural drying in the sun and wind for 3 to 4 weeks.
The raisins are added to the fresh must in several batches during fermentation in a temperature-controlled steel tank. During the maceration, the grapes give a softness and freshness that harmoniously blends with this wine’s unique and characteristic aromas of candied apricots.
The vinification lasts more than a month and is followed by an 8-month ageing period in steel tanks. An additional ageing period of at least 12 months in the bottle is carried out before the wine is released.
Ben Ryé 2019 by the Donnafugata estate is a 100% Zibibbo, otherwise known as Muscat of Alexandria.
Bright, golden colour with subtle amber highlights.
Intense, the nose gives off notes of sultanas, apricot and candied orange peel.
The palate seduces with its perfect balance between freshness and sweetness, its rich aromatic palette composed of fruity notes, aromatic herbs and honeyed notes. The finish is persistent, with a delicious and complex expression.
Food and wine pairing
Ben Ryé 2019 by the Donnafugata estate goes perfectly with foie gras, pastries, chocolate, jam, ricotta pies or blue cheese.
Uncork when ready to drink and serve at 14°C.
Ben Rye 2019 by the Donnafugata estate can be kept until at least 2049 to express all its aromatic richness.