Ambassador of Marsala in the world, Cantine Florio is essential in discovering this iconic product and its centuries-old history that is intertwined with the economic and social fabric of the island. Its very foundation represented an act of courage and change. Vincenzo Florio, son of a wealthy ship owner from Calabria, was the first Italian, in 1833, to play a leading role in the world of Marsala, then dominated by the English. With his resourcefulness, he contributed to making the town of Marsala one of the richest in the region. This winery embodies territory, history and expertise which, for over 180 years, have represented a unique and extraordinary product that does not fear the touch of oxygen nor the passing of time, but ever able to keep the aromas and bright hints of Sicily.
The land of Marsala
Florio Marsala wines originate in the so-called Fascia del Sole (lit. “The Strip of the Sun”), an area located between 32° and 41° northern latitude, where some of the most famous fortified wines such as Madeira and Porto are born. The abundant sunlight in this area, as well as the red soil, rich in iron but poor in organic material and not very fertile, make up the ideal environment for the production of wines with high alcohol content and a wide and intense aromatic profile.
From the vineyard to the cellar: between heritage and innovation
For its Marsala wines, Florio has chosen the native white Grillo grape, which is combined with another typical variety of the island, Cataratto, in producing some labels. Grillo is perfect for making Marsala, yielding structured wines with good alcohol content and an acidic component that is essential for this wine’s evolution over time.
After undergoing white wine vinification, the process for making Marsala involves “tanning” or the stage of wine fortification (with the exception of the Vergine type). Then, the oxidation process begins inside kegs or wooden barrels of different sizes, depending on the type of Marsala that will be produced. The finished product is launched on the market only after years of refinement: a process and a know-how that Florio skillfully keeps and carries out.
|“Florio’s unique experience is a centuries-old legacy in Marsala production. Over the years, it has been able to give a new interpretation to traditional production methods using modern winemaking technology to create products of great prestige. The most important innovation that Florio has brought to the world of Marsala lies in its very creation. – says Tommaso Maggio, enologist at Cantine Florio – For us, wine fortification is a process that ennobles the product: it does not correct or alter it. Although tanning is a decisive moment in the production of Marsala, up until this day, a very important part of our work is done the vineyard where the health of the vines and the ripening trend of the grapes are periodically checked in order to have a high-quality raw material. The grapes are carefully sorted before being processed in the cellar, where we make use of the finest automated systems that allow us to monitor and effectively operate at all stages, including sanitation and control of the temperature and humidity levels, all essential elements in Marsala production”.|
Today, Florio offers more than 8 different expressions of Marsala. Baglio Florio and Donna Franca are two of the most original and personal symbols of the brand.
Marsala Vergine Baglio Florio Produced in only 7,000 bottles, Baglio Florio is made with Grillo grapes from the districts of Birgi and Spagnola, on the coastal strip north of Marsala.
Once vinification is completed, the wine rests in precious 300-liter oak barrels for over 10 years located within the historic cellars. The result is an elegant wine enclosing the aromas and freshness of Grillo that evolve into ethereal notes with whiffs of vanilla, honey and hazelnut. The mouth is dry and soft, revealing hints of licorice and almonds blended together into a delicate and harmonious note of vanilla.
Marsala Superiore Riserva Donna FrancaDonna Franca is a blend of different Marsala wines that have separately aged for 15 to 30 years and have been selected after carefully evaluating their evolutionary process. With their enveloping aroma and warm and soft taste, the 4,000 bottles produced per year convey significant elegance and complexity. Intense topaz in color, the nose reveals powerful aromas of candied fruit and spices. The mouth opens to an elegant vanilla taste, accompanied by notes of spices and candied fruit, as well as enveloping hints of caramel and bitter almond.