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Top Sicilian Producer Invests in Dessert-Wine Estate

Tasca d'Almerita purchased a Malvasia property on the Aeolian island of Salina

Michèle Shah
Posted: October 17, 2001

Well-known Sicilian winery Tasca d'Almerita has purchased an 18-acre estate on the Aeolian island of Salina with the aim of adding a Malvasia dessert wine to its range of offerings. The estate, called Capo Faro, has 14 acres of 20-year-old vines in the Malvasia delle Lipari DOC.

The Aeolian Islands, also known as the Lipari Islands, are a cluster of seven volcanic islands, off the northern coast of Sicily.

Tasca d'Almerita is one of Sicily's largest wineries. Its Regaleali estate, near the town of Vallelunga, in the province of Caltanissetta, covers 1,285 acres of land, of which 925 acres are vineyards. The winery exports Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and red and white blends, with total annual production reaching 250,000 cases.

The contract between Tasca d'Almerita and former estate owner Giuseppe Rovera, an industrialist from Verona, was signed in September. In addition to the land, the purchase also includes a holiday complex in the midst of the vineyards; the small, individual lodges, pool and tennis courts overlook the sea.

Lucio Tasca, president of Tasca d'Almerita would not disclose the cost of the investment. "Paradise has no price," he said. "Salina is a beautiful, unspoiled Mediterranean island, which is part of UNESCO's World Heritage List." He added, "My father founded a deep-sea diving club in Salina in the late '40s. It's not just nostalgia that pulls me there. A good dessert wine is all that is missing from our range of wines."

Tasca d'Almerita aims to release its first batch of Malvasia in 2003, with a total of 15,000 half-liter bottles. The wine will be vinified on the island of Salina, but bottled at the Regaleali estate.

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