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12 May

The Orange Estate

By: Justine Teal Categories: Reviews and Awards, Wines

In 2000, Trentino-based Gruppo Mezzacorona recognised the unexploited potential of Sicily and invested in replanting and rebuilding two estates along the Southern coast of the island and, thus Feudo Arancio was born. The word ‘Feudo’ means ‘estate’ and it evokes the glorious and rich history of Sicily. The word ‘Arancio,’ meaning ‘orange,’ pays homeage to Lago Arancio, the lake set in the province of Sambuca di Sicilia, very close to Feudo Arancio. The vineyards of the winery sits on the banks of Lago Arancio, surrounded by wooded areas of typical flora and spices which holds a historical significance to the island.

The Feudo Arancio team aims to reflect the unique qualities of the island of Sicily and its longstanding history as a Mediterranean paradise in their brand and wines. The elaborate label designs are representative of the island’s history and artistic and cultural influences that have lived on for millenniums. Sicily is said to be the most conquered island in the world, so it’s not surprising that dozens of civilizations have left their mark on Sicilian style and art. Sicilian ceramic art has featured centuries of stories and a long tradition that passed on from Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Moors and others.

The expert and passionate team of agronomists and oenologists find the ideal balance between the different soils in the two estates and cultivation methods for the wines to boast harmonious and elegant tannins along with aromatic strength and fruity character. The vast knowledge and winemaking philosophy brought to Sicily by Gruppo Mezzacorona brought a breakthrough of fresh and aromatic wines and distinguishes Feudo Arancio production from the traditional Sicilian winemaking practice.

Feudo Arancio have designed their facilities and their wines with sustainability at their core. A lot of time and resources were invested in not only creating the winery and all its vineyards from scratch, but to do so in such a way that they would have a minimized environmental impact. As a result, in 2002 Feudo Arancio was the first Italian Winery to receive the ECO Management and Audit Scheme certification for the entire productive chain. They use green practices throughout the winery and the vineyards to ensure efficient use of natural resources, preserve local flora, and ensure the production of quality wines for years to come. In this mission, the winery and vineyards use alternative techniques to reduce the use of chemicals as much as possible, have installed solar panels, collect and conserve water efficiently, and much more.

Maurizio Maurizi represents a new generation of Italian wine innovators. He was born to a family of winegrowers and was instilled with a passion for wine at a young age. He began his journey with Mezzacorona in 2006 and has worked his way up as head winemaker of Feudo Arancio and production manager of both Sicilian estates. Maurizio lives and breathes Sicily and aims to represent the island in the wines he produces.

The Wines

2021 Feudo Arancio Grillo

92 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): This one is all Grillo and rather exciting. Pale yellow, this is fresh and medium bodied at best. We have floral notes, notably frangipani blossoms, grapefruit pith, pears, orange rind notes and a minerally backing. Good intensity throughout, this is a wine that flows well, with focus. There is a seductive texture here and very good length.

2021 Feudo Arancio Inzolia

92 pts – Patrick Eckel (Wine Reviewer): A punchy nose of worked peach and fig alongside brine and flint. The palate has a fullness of apricot and white peach with some gentle spice washing over the top. There is a faint bitterness to driving apricot fruit to finish that is both textural and gently savoury. A very enjoyable import with plenty going on.

2020 Feudo Arancio Rosato

90 pts – Ken Gargett (Wine Pilot): Sicilian rosé, elegantly packaged, and under screwcap. This is a lovely pale burnished orange colour and fragrant with florals, especially rose petals, and raspberries plus fresh acidity. There is good intensity here and it is maintained throughout the journey before an appealing hint of bitter almond on a clean finish although the terrific nose is probably the highlight.

2020 Feudo Arancio Nero d’Avola

93 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): As always, this winery in Sicily overdelivers: this is one of the best Neros I’ve seen in a while, leading with ripe, sweet fruit – black cherries and assorted red berries – and a touch of vanilla oak in the background. Medium-bodied, it packs a solid punch of flavour, good line and length, and pretty much perfect pitch. Great bistro/pizza/pasta red.

2018 Feudo Arancio Riserva Rosso

94 pts – Kim Brebach (BWU20): Made from Nero d’Avola, the main red variety of Sicily. Black cherries and prunes, along with earthy tones. Leather, black pepper and a hint of tobacco round out the picture. Nero can be simple but this wine shows off the variety. Perfect with the rustic food of southern Italy.

2018 Feudo Arancio Hekate Passito

Made with a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, and Inzolia grapes. Colour is golden amber. Nose of dried apricots, chamomile and white peaches. Sweet honey notes present themselves on the palate with dried floral aromatics, rich and opulent mouth feel with an aged balsamic finish.


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