Angelo Paternò, patriarch of Cantina Marilina, worked for decades at large commercial wineries on Italy’s southern island, Sicily. He eventually saved up enough to purchase a 60-hectare organic farm in the province of Siracusa. The shining white calcareous soils and gentle slope told him this was amongst the best sites he’d ever seen; the ideal location to build a life with his family.
Since the creation of the estate he has handed control over to his two ambitious daughters, Marilina and Federica. Together they have implemented aspects of permaculture to ensure the soils are healthy for generations. Just over half their land is planted with vines; the other half is left wild or used for mixed farming to increase both biodiversity and economic diversity.
They’ve decided to keep their practices as traditional as possible. 80% of their vineyards are planted to indigenous grape varieties, many of which have evolved over hundreds of years to withstand the relentless sunshine and drought conditions. Their wines almost exclusively ferment in large concrete tanks that help prevent temperature fluctuations and allow the gentle integration of oxygen. Their maceration times are quite long which helps extract dense flavours and ample structure.