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8 q

by Sonny Figueroa

frappatoAfter three straight lessons with white wines, I’m ready for a red, aren’t you? So this month we will drink a red that enjoys a light chill, a necessity perhaps in July.
The grape is frappato, and the wine comes from the Vittoria region of southeast Sicily. The wines of Mount Etna may be getting all the attention, but the wines of Vittoria deserve to be recognized.
The leading wine of the region is Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a blend of frappato and nero d’Avola. We will be tasting straight-up frappatos, which are a little lighter than Cerasuolos and can be enjoyed a little sooner.
Reds like frappato have gained popularity in recent years as consumers have come to appreciate wines that rely on freshness rather than power. Twenty-five years ago it was an entirely different story, as producers in Sicily were betting on international varieties like merlot and cabernet, but tastes have evolved. Nowadays, consumers are far more interested in indigenous grapes like frappato than those grown everywhere else in the world

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by Eric Asimov

Among the many harbingers of warm weather, one of my favorites is the N.Y.U. Hawk Cam, starring a pair of red-tailed hawks that have nested since 2011 on a ledge, overlooking Washington Square Park, outside the office of the president of New York University. As I sit at my computer, I’ve got half an eye on this year’s nestlings, three little hawks that are now tiny white balls of down, too weak to sit up for long. By the beginning of summer, they will be nearly fully grown and strutting the ledge, impatient to fledge into the wilds of Greenwich Village. The hawks are a reminder that human behavior, too, is informed by the seasons. Just as many people gravitate to lighter foods as the weather warms, so do they seek out lighter wines as summer approaches. For this edition of 20 Under $20, whites and rosés predominate, though reds will always have their place, accompanying the grilled steaks, ribs and burgers of summer. For some years now I have made the case that the greatest values in wine are in the vicinity of $20 a bottle. It’s easy to find palatable wines for under $10, but very rarely will those bottles offer any sense of excitement or distinctiveness. Spend a little more, say, $15 to $20, and the number of distinctive, exciting bottles increases exponentially. Occasionally, such bottles can be found for less — one of my favorites here is just $12.99 — but the probability is low. Read more…

Majestic Wine: 5 Questions With Valle dell’Acate Owner Gaetana Jacono

“Life is too short to drink bad wine,” stated Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Celebrating excellence in wine is the rally cry for Vinitaly, the largest wine exhibition in the world. Attended every year in Verona, Italy, by producers, importers, restaurateurs and journalists, all participants are eager to share and discover new trends and exchange ideas on this internationally recognized Italian tradition of excellence. Once again the city of Romeo and Juliet is the world’s wine capital this week, where from April 15-18 Verona is transformed into a prestigious world-class showcase of the best of the best in Italian wines.

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8 q

by Eric Asimov

Wine comes in seemingly endless varieties, from a growing number of places and in countless styles. While the choise may sometimes seem overwhelming, they also present a wonderful opportunity for pleasure and experimentation.
On a recent expedition through a handful of Manhattan shops, I found these 20 excellent bottles, all under $20. They come from eight different countries, and even more regions. Most of these are red, in deference to the season, when most people gravitate toward heartier dishes. But in winter I still eat foods that call for white wines, and I always like sparkling wines, so both are represented as well.
The $20 price is crucial. Budget-minded shoppers may recoil, believing they can find plenty of bottles under $10. That’s true, and most of those wines will be technically sound. They will also be boring, the scourge of mass-market wines today. Read more…

8 q

di Patrizia Catalano

Gaetana Jacono, the sixth generation at the helm of the historic winery Valle dell’Acate, welcomes guests into an old sicilian baglio where tasting becomes a sensory experience that blends flavor with the quality of the place

Nunc est bibendum. In northeastern Sicily, near Ragusa, The House of Pairings/Casa degli Abbinamenti is the result of the energy of Gaetana Jacono, a wine entrepreneur and ambassador of taste Made in Sicily. Together with the ‘flying chef’ – as he calls himself – Davide Di Corato, our hostess proposes a new experience of hospitality and taste, starting with the famous vintages of Valle dell’Acate. Seven luminous, aromatic wines, like the land that produces them, seven parcels with different cultivars: Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Vittoria Frappato and Insolia, Sicilia Zagra di Grillo, Moro di Nero d’Avola, Riusciano di Syrah, Bidis di Chardonnay and Tanè.
The mission of the ‘house’ is to blend a new experience of pairings, refined harmonies of flavors, aromas and colore, with other things that stimulate delightful sensory effects. Pasta, delicious sauces, refined fish recipes based on ancient local recipes reinterpreted by the lady of the house (as well as desserts and seasonal vegetables), offer an opportunity to get to knowthis part of the Sicilian territory.

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INTERNI

Sips of Summer with Wines of Sicilia DOC

Tastes of Sicily Featured Wines

On June 29, 2017, wine drinkers and connoisseurs in Chicago were invited to join Wine Channel TV and Formento’s kickoff to its Sips of Summer wine tasting events with a Tastes of Sicily themed event. Partnered with and located at Formento’s, an Italian restaurant within Chicago’s Fulton Market District, guests were treated to taste eight unique Sicilian wines- Alessandro di Camporeale Catarratro, Donnafugata Lighea, Mandrarossa Grillo, Morgante Nero d’Avola, Planeta Rose, Tasca Regaleali Bianco, Valle dell’Acate Frappato, Villa Pozzi Grillo, featured by Wines of Sicilia DOC.

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by Laura Rysman

Sicily | The Val di Noto is doubly blessed – with beautiful Baroque architecture and a thriving food and wine scene.

[…] For us, though, the USP was its chef- for-the-day service, with Ragusa-native Laura Giunta arriving to prepare exqui- site versions of classic Sicilian dishes. Arrayed in Eames chairs around the wood slab table, we caroused our way through her lunch of swordfish-stuffed eggplant, anchovy tarts, vinegar-cured ray, Ragusano cheese drizzled with saf- fron and honey, and plenty of Valle dell’Acate’s flowery Zagra wine. Stili in our swimsuits, we struggled to polish off the final delight — Giunta’s freshly filled, chocolate-dusted ricotta cannoh.

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FINANCIAL TIMES

 

8 q

by Zachary Sussman

And the best under -$20 bottles to chill.

Last summer, I encountered it everywhere, almost like an invasive species. On front stoops and restaurant terraces. At parties and backyard barbecues. By the pool. At the park. Even at the beach. Wherever I turned, there it was: bottle after bottle of rosé.
That’s why, this season, I’m making the case for an equally important but chronically neglected category of summer wine. I’m not referring to crisp, steely whites like Sancerre or Chablis, though they’re rarely a bad idea. In fact, I’m not referring to white wine at all—but to that little-known, misunderstood species, the “chillable” red.

[…] Chillable Reds from Italy, Austria and Beyond

The French, of course, aren’t the only ones to have perfected the style.
Across the boot of Italy, there is a tradition of producing wines for everyday drinking that often show best with a chill. In Piedmont, the land of muscular Barolo and Barbaresco, you’ll be far more likely to find locals drinking bottles like the Elvio Tintero Rosso ($10), a lip-smacking, herbaceous blend of native grapes (including Barbera and Dolcetto), perfect for a caprese salad sliced from the season’s first heirlooms. Further south, a wine like the Valle dell’Acate Vittoria Frappato ($17) highlights Sicily’s cheerful side.

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FOOD&WINE

8 q

[…] Mount Etna is nothing compared to the fire and energy of this Sicilian woman, Gaetana Jacono, who owns Valle dell’Acate (Sicily). Gaetana communicates a great passion for her land, her wine, her island, and does it all with understated class and elegance that is so exquisitely Italian. Speaking with her, one is reminded of that particular blend of strength and delicacy that you can find in Italian women; you’ll find it in this song too, the only Italian song of this soundtrack. It’s a love song, and it’s got soul. Listen, and you’ll see why this song represents the best of Italy, just like Gaetana!

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ITALIAN GRAPEVINE

by Robert Calvert

[…] Valle dell’Acate (valledellacate.com) is located near the Dirillo River (known in antiquity as the Achates) in southeastern Sicily. The Jacono and Ferreri families that operate Valle dell’Acate trace their winemaking roots back to the 19th century. Gaetana Jacono, current manager, represents the sixth generation of her family in the wine business. She says: “Wine is culture, a thread winding its way uninterrupted throughout history. It is something to be handed down, something to take from the past and carry into the future”.
Glowing like rubies, the Valle dell’Acate Il Frappato Vittoria DOC 2015 ($20) offers aromas of cherries, strawberries and raspberries with a sniff of sage and an intriguing fragrance of wet boulders. This 100 percent Frappato is made strictly in stainless steel to emphasize its lively, fruity flavors-cherries and raspberries principally, with smidgens of red apples and blueberries. Somebody wrote that this Frappato is “reminiscent of good Beaujolais.” He is correct. It may be something about the wine’s texture as much as its flavor. An Italian commentator wrote that Americans call this a “smiling wine.” You will smile when you sip it.
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CHARLESTON STYLE & DESIGN MAGAZINE
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