The first thing that catches your eye is the crown, symbol of royalty, which is elegantly printed on the labels and is made even more important by the word Victorya 1607 impressed on the Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG wine, as if to strengthen its meaning. It is a blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato, aged in steel, rather than in wooden barrels, so to maintain its natural personality.
A logo, an inscription, a wine hiding much more than one could imagine. It’s just in that intense cherry red colour, with scents of red berry fruit, a harmonious taste and soft tannins, that you will find the strength, the sweetness, the resourcefulness of some women madly in love with this fertile land capable of giving great wines.
Among these important female figures is Victorya, namely Vittoria Colonna, who found the city of Vittoria 410 years ago and who offered the settlers some land to cultivate vineyards. Then, there is Maria Grazia Di Francesco Brunetti, an authentic “wine woman” who wished to pay her own tribute to the founder of the city. She is the owner of the winery Casa Grazia, located in Gela, an ancient Greek colony, with a deep-rooted tradition in wine growing. The microclimate of this land, nestled in an area near the Lake Biviere, offers the ideal conditions for the cultivation of the winery’s vineyards (40 hectares, mainly grown in espalier structure).
The varieties Nero d’Avola, Grillo, Frappato and Syrah have been masterly and carefully grown by Maria Grazia and then transformed into great wines thanks to the collaboration with the renowned oenologist Tonino Guzzo. Maria Grazia’s love for wines was born to support a project that her husband Angelo has always held dear.
“When my husband came back from his business trips, he immediately rushed to the vineyards. He loved and took care of his plants so much that, sometimes, I would have been a leaf. Yes, I was jealous, but then I learned to love these plants, too”- she tells us. Angelo’s love for land has been transmitted by his family. After their marriage, they began to buy additional hectares of land – even though their main job was quite different: in 1994 they settled one of the most important companies in the oil & gas sector. A family of farsighted entrepreneurs who, however, have never forgotten their rural origins; that’s why they decided to extend their property.
“The winery had already existed since the 80’s. Only Nero d’Avola variety was grown and grapes were sold to others. Then, in 2005, the turnaround: we decided to bottle our wines. In that time Angelo worked in Qatar and Dubai, I was alone here: I had to set up a company, to invent a brand, to choose bottles and their design”- continues Maria Grazia. So, this brilliant and headstrong woman rolled up her sleeves and started working constructively towards making her husband’s dream a reality, and… she won the challenge.
“For me this was a Grace from Heaven. This is why I called my winery Casa di Grazia (Grace’s home): it means protection, embrace, family warmth”.Maria Grazia Di Francesco
Today, her wines are exported to the UK, Spain, Belgium and Denmark. Wherever they are, the crown, symbol of royalty, keeps on telling about the sacrifices and the fights made to achieve one sole main objective: victory!