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Donnafugata `Sursur`

Marsala, Sicilia


The Rallo family has made wine in Marsala since 1851 and their ancient cellars tunnel beneath the city...

They were one of the first families to begin making high quality table wine when sales of traditional sweet Marsala started to decline, launching the Donnafugata label in 1983 and championing some of the region‘s native grape varieties. Today, they have two estates in Sicily: a modern winery and 260 hectares at Contessa Entellina in the hills east of Marsala and 68 hectares on the island of Pantelleria. Donnafugata means ‘fleeing woman’ - a reference to Queen Maria Carolina who, with her husband Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, escaped the court of Naples in the early 19th century when Napoleon’s troops arrived. The couple took refuge in Sicily at the Santa Margherita Belice palace, also the favourite residence of celebrated writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and depicted on the ‘Mille e Una Notte’ label.

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SurSur is made from Grillo grapes planted at 100-200 metres above sea level, at approximately 3,500-4,500 vines per hectare.  The vines are trained using VSP (vertical shoot positioning), with wooden stakes and stainless steel wires.  Pruning is cordon spur, leaving 6-10 buds.  Soils are mainly clay with 20-35% limestone content. 

Vintage information

The 2014 vintage was marked by a relatively mild winter and a cool, rainy spring. Overall, from the 1st of October 2013 to the 30th of September 2014, 620 mm of rainfall was recorded: slightly lower than average, with rainfall concentrated in the spring months. July and August passed without excesses of heat and with an excellent temperature range between day and night, thus favouring the production of particularly fresh and balanced wines. The Grillo for the production of SurSur was harvested during the second and third week of September.


After gentle pressing, the must was fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks where it remained until bottling several months later. The wine was released after a further two months of bottle ageing.

Tasting Notes

Bright aromas of white peach, yellow plum and tropical fruit are supported by subtle perfumes of wild flowers. Crisp and smooth on the palate with a clean finish.

Vintage information

Vintage 2014
Grape varieties 100% Grillo
Region Marsala, Sicilia
Winemaker Stefano Valla
Consultant Winemaker Antonio Rallo
Alcohol (ABV) 12.5%
Acidity 5.6g/l
Wine pH 3.22