Raphael is known as the “patron saint of travelers and ‘happy meetings’.” There are not many wines more fitting to drink while one travels nor to share in happy meetings than a chilled glass of rosé. It is a wine meant to be shared with good company and sharing in the great times that spring and summer so often bring. It is known that Italian rosés (read rosato) are often heavy handed and dark in color. This strays from that summation and brings a touch of the Côte d’Azur to Sicily.
The Zibibbo came from mountainous, seaside perched vines in Castellamare, halfway between Trapani and Palermo and the Syrah from Salemi, 30 miles south of Castellamare. A rainy spring and a milder start to summer saw
temperatures dip below average to start the growing season. Maturation was much slower than usual, and harvest was two weeks later. The Syrah was lighter in color than in the past but with really fresh, bright acidity while the Zibibbo got more hangtime and resulted in more intense aromatics and palate weight.
The grapes were all handpicked: Zibibbo in early-September and early-October for Syrah, harvest was delayed by two to three weeks due to an unusually cool and rainy spring. The Zibibbo was pressed and kept very cold halting fermentation in tank with a blanket of CO2 protecting the must. The Syrah spent a couple of days on skins to extract a fair bit of color. The musts were blended together,
and fermentation was carried out over three weeks.