Donnafugata is a family-owned winery in Marsala, Sicily, owned by the Rallo family since 1851. The modern incarnation of the winery was born in the 1980s when fourth-generation Giacomo and his wife Gabriella Rallo transformed it into what it is today, named after the “fleeing woman” of Tomasi di Lampedusa’s only novel, ‘The Leopard.’ The winery produces a range of wines, including sparkling, white, rosé, red, and sweet wines, as well as grappa. The labels of Donnafugata are hard to forget, designed by a local Sicilian artist using the colors and spirit of the Italian island.
Donnafugata stays true to its origins by using grape varieties that represent Sicilian soils and sustainable farming practices. The vineyard team minimizes the ecological impact of its various sites as a member of the Foundation for Sicilian Sustainable Viticulture. The selection of wines features several indigenous grapes, including the tart Carricante from the mineral-rich slopes of Mount Etna, the aromatic Ansonica of the white varieties, and the black Nero d’Avola, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappucio, and Nocera.
Donnafugata’s historical core is its nineteenth-century Marsala winery on Sicily’s west coast. Open all year round, visitors can explore the winery’s large courtyard adorned with orange and olive trees, ancient ceramics, and a wine shop. Guided tours followed by tasting options paired with street food, the premium ‘Donna Gabriella’ experience teaming refined Sicilian dishes and the estate’s olive oil with five wines, including their famous sweet style made from dried grapes, Ben Ryé.
The Rallo’s daughter, José, who sings jazz, has introduced the wines to the world, often pairing them with songs. The winery has also collaborated with fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana, adding to its stylish and multi-sensory experience. Donnafugata’s standout wines include the lees-aged Chardonnay ‘La Fuga’ (translating as ‘the escape’), named after the woman depicted on their labels, offering fresh yet ripe fruit flavors. The winery also produces two bottles in collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana, a pale-colored and floral rosé and an inky Tancredi made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Nero d’Avola, and Tannat.