Liberty Wines welcomes top Sicilian producer

Sicilian producer Mandrarossa will join the Liberty Wines portfolio in the UK from 1 March.

The Mandrarossa wines come from a selection of the best sites from Cantine Settesoli’s 6,000 hectares of vineyard, situated in southwestern Sicily and planted with 32 different grape varieties.

First produced in 1999, Mandrarossa is about to open a new winery as it becomes increasingly focused on single site wines. This is only fitting, as it was conceived after the diverse soils of the vineyards were mapped, enabling the winemakers to focus on what were then ranked their best sites. Under the leadership of Cantine Settesoli’s president Giuseppe Bursi, consultant winemaker Alberto Antonini has sought to improve viticulture, which in turn has resulted in better wines.

Working with soil specialist Pedro Parra and head winemaker Mimmo De Gregorio, Alberto has selected 500 hectares of vineyard for the Mandrarossa wines. From 160 growers and a wealth of sites and varieties, the result is a range of wines including native Sicilian varieties like Nero d’Avola, Grillo, Grecanico and dry Zibibbo as well as international varieties like Chardonnay, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc.

Managing Director David Gleave says; “We are very excited by the addition of these outstanding value Mandrarossa wines to our portfolio. And we feel they are only at the beginning:  Giuseppe Bursi, who is an agronomist, understands exactly what is required to push quality ever higher.  With a great record of environmental awareness, including one of the largest solar energy installations in the Italian winemaking sector which provides 15% of their power, we share many of their values. The Mandrarossa wines are their most impressive contribution to Sicilian wine.”

Giuseppe Bursi comments “Our move to Liberty Wines reflects our quest for continual improvement.  As a five-time winner of Gambero Rosso’s Tre Bicchieri, our Cartagho wine is already recognised as among Italy’s best, but as all the wines continue to improve, we feel we need to be working with people who understand our quality and environmental ethos.”

The top wines, selected by Pedro’s vineyard mapping, are made from single sites covering 75 hectares from 37 growers. The flagship Cartagho wine is from a sandy vineyard in the Torrenova ‘contrada’ regarded as the best source of Nero d’Avola.

The vineyards are split between the 2,000 members of the co-operative and include more than 800 hectares of organically grown vines.  They cover the area around Selinunte, the hauntingly beautiful ruins of a Greek town founded 2,600 years ago.  Cantine Settesoli helps support the restoration of this archaeological site.