Producer Profile - Di Giovanna, Sicily

Peter Gentilli

If I asked you to come up with a traditional Italian name for a boy, you’d probably be thinking along the lines of Pietro, Massimo or Riccardo, no? I’m guessing that Gunther and Klaus probably wouldn’t make it onto your list but then you could argue that there is a certain amount of Germanic influence in the north of Italy around the border with Austria. However, I’m not talking about Friuli Venezia or the Alto Adige. I’m talking about Sicily which is the home of our much loved producers Gunther and Klaus Di Giovanna and about as far south as Italy goes.

Named by their German mother, the two brothers are the current custodians of the Di Giovanna vineyards which were planted by their Great Grandfather Cristoforo Ciaccio in 1860. The vineyards are found in the commune of Sambuca di Sicilia on the western end of the island about 40 miles south of Palermo. Here the topography is such that the vineyards, of which there are 5 belonging to the winery, are spread across varying altitudes.

In 1985, Aurelio Di Giovanna and his wife Barbara, initiated an in-depth study of their microclimates and soils. Following careful cloning and testing they identified the vines best suited for each vineyard. Each property was delineated into 5 unique vineyard sites: Miccina, Gerbino, and Paradiso at 350-480m above sea level in the village of Contessa Entellina and the Fiuminello and San Giacomo vineyards which command a more prominent view of the surrounding area at 700-830m above sea level.

The Di Giovanna family is committed to organic practices in their vineyards and winery in order to preserve their land and history. All of their products (they make olive oil as well as wine) have been certified organic since 1997.

Di Giovanna produces an extensive range of wines: white, rosé and red with current annual production of approximately 250,000 bottles and all made from fruit grown on the estate. All of the wines we stock can be found on our website here Di Giovanna Wines . Many of the indigenous grapes of the island are used in their wines such as Nero d’Avola and Nerello Mascalese for the reds and Grillo for the whites but you’ll also find some international varieties like Chardonnay and Viognier in the blends. All the wines are fabulous and thoroughly enjoyable, lovingly made and offer you a true taste of Sicily.

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