The PATRIA cellars take their name from the Patrìa district, near Monreale, where the Di Miceli family bought a feud in the distant 1950. Many years later, in 1992, Di Miceli Francesco, owner of the soc. Coop. PATRIA, thanks to his experience as an agronomist and oenologist, took over the old "TORREPALINO", a historic wine cellar born in 1971 with headquarters in Solicchiata of Castiglione di Sicilia, on the north side of Etna.
The history of Torrepalino intersects with that of the Aragonese watchtower which stood to defend and guard the territory. At the top of the building stood a "palino", a directional indicator that directed the caravans and wayfarers between the commercial port of Riposto and that of Milazzo.
Subsequently, Di Miceli decided to change the name by transferring the heritage of the other winery, in the Patrìa district to Monreale and in this way various wineries were formed in various parts of the Sicilian territory, and a mother company at Solicchiata. The evolution of this company has allowed in recent years the transformation from a "cooperative company" to "a.r.l.
The particular geographical location with an altitude that touches between 750 and 900 meters in its highest part, makes the territory the main element that differentiates it for typicality and uniqueness.
Thanks to the exposure and the altimetry, a late environment characterized by strong temperature variations results. Open to innovations and experiments, the winery focuses on excellence starting from the vineyards, whose monitoring is aimed at understanding its phenolic maturity and therefore the right harvest period.
The Winery has outdoor spaces, panoramic terraces and a small sanctuary.
Unique is the PALICI Arena in lava stone, renovated in 2005, nestled between the Etna Natural Park, the Alcantara River Park and the Nebrodi Park, which is suitable for welcoming artistic and cultural events.
At the entrance, the old warehouse has been renovated and now houses two rooms, the tasting room and the multipurpose multimedia room. Finally, the underground path between the millenary lavas and the wonderful Slavonian oak barrel is particularly suggestive.
The winery's corporate philosophy can be synthesized into the following guidelines:
- Exploiting native grape varieties.
- Enhancing non-native grape varieties with distinctive characteristics of the island's territory.
- Researching and experimenting wine-making for an even better product.
- Taking over the entire national market. Up-grading our position on international markets.
Exploiting native grape varieties:
The company production has the core business centered on the denomination of origin Etna in the categories of red, white and rosè. The availability of grapes from vineyards strategically scattered in diverse areas of the island makes it possibile to vary the wine by carefully selecting the grape variety most suited to the best production. In regards to wine-grapes cultivated on soil of volcanic origin for example, the vineyards located on high plots are used for the making of “Palici” a sparkling wine( a real pearl) which is characterized for its uniqueness. On the other hand vineyards set on lower plots with better exposure are used to produce new red wines and Reserves. Specifically vineyards with 80- 100-year-old saplings from good years are needed to produce the finest Reserves.
Enhancing non-native grape varieties with distinctive characteristics of the island's Territory:
The winery produces wines with very strong territorial characteristics, destined only for those who appreciate this rich, unique taste. The peculiarity of these wines which had limited the market in the past decade have in time become the highlight of the winery climate and unique soil have given them new personality.These varieties of grapes grown on Etna make a fine and elegant wine, less structured than those of other areas. Other international grape varieties like the Nero D'avola, Voigner, Syrah and Merlot are made from grapes grown on the clayey and hot plots in the suburb of Gela and Palermo. Another high-quality grape variety is the Moscato. Thanks to the favorable climate found in the area of Gela, the grapes are left to dry out on the vines until they reach the ultimate dryness without being ruined. The pressing of this type of grape produces an excellent “passito”, both fruity and slightly alcoholic called ENEO.
Researching and experimenting wine-making for an even better product:
During the last decade many important acknowledgements and satisfaction have brought visible changes to the winery. The most modern technology was applied first to the vineyards and then to the wine cellars. Innovative wine-making plants were installed and new wine storage methods were introduced (not to mention the latest bottling equipment on the market). Wine microfiltration* has replaced pasteurization* maintaining unaltered the natural aroma and longevity of the wine.
Taking over the entire national market:
The first wine label “Torrepalino” was upgraded through label restyling giving it that extra touch of Sicilian quality which derives from a land which doesn't deny its past but continues improving and evolving through its experience. At the same time the winery has mainly concentrated on the sales network defining precise procedures for the already existing sale agents and distributors who have achieved widespread retailing on the national market. What's more the winery has succeeded in drawing positive attention from the press (newspapers, magazines and trade journals) both on a national and international level. Their wine-tasting stands have never failed to appear in all the most sought after national and international events. The winery has discovered that today's wine-drinker is not just “curious” but a traveler in search of rich knowledge and forgotten flavors with a lifetime of experience not necessarily connected to the final product but to all that revolves around the fascinating world of wine-making. This discovery and being aware that successful marketing begins at your doorstep has given the opportunity to welcome visitors into our cellars to observe how grapes become wine. An example of this is the winery “Barone di Miceli” which opens its doors to visitors every day. The visitor discovers how wine is linked to history and traditions and the multiple resources the company offers like landscaped environmental ones to recreational and cultural ones are high-lighted. The winery's culture and its love for Sicily have made “Strade del Vino” an important reference point for the “Patria” winery. Certifications obtained at the winery are: Quality System ISO14001 2000 edition; Environmental Management ISO 14001 2004 edition; Chain of Production Traceability UNI 10939. Furthermore the winery requested and was granted the Environmental Certification ISO 14001; an act of great sensitivity which denotes great love for the land, respect for the ecosystem and major attention to the consumers needs. In addition the quality system certification is a very important step towards affirming a place in foreign markets, a way of showing the visibility and transparency of how the winery functions.
Up-grading our position on international markets:
The winery's potential is very high thanks to an extremely strong bond with the land. This bond exploits the winery's creative, inventive and genius potential consenting to make competitive wines which express Sicily's (and Italy's) superior culture, traditions, history and uniqueness when compared to wines made in other countries. Up until today the company is undergoing the internationalization process, reaching out into foreign markets through direct and indirect distribution channels. The winery's goal is to strengthen its presence in international markets by dealing directly with them. Our ambition is just as high as our potential.
Tradition and Innovation
The total area of the company is about 250 hectares. Most of the implants are bred backed by spurred cordon
Some areas are still bred in trees (Etna D.O.C. and Riserva 1996, 2000, 2001 and 2005). The oldest vineyard dates back to the middle of 1900, but the average age of vines is very variable.The global extension In recent years the winery has applied the most modern technologies to obtain a greater quality of production. The computer is thus joined to the skilful work of the staff and support it with reliable information about time, methods and temperatures. Thermo-controlled tanks, which preserve the fragrant aroma of the grapes, and the wine producer of different sizes allows the separate processing of the grapes from different plots of land and application of different vinification techniques according to different characteristics of the grapes given and the production targets.
The steel tanks are about 83% of the capacity of the winery. They have a total capacity of 35,000 hl. In the wine-making department there are fermenting tank in stainless steel 200 hl capacity where the natural fermentation is monitored through temperature control. In the processing and storage department there are tanks of various sizes and all with temperature control and insulated tanks used in the tartaric stabilization of all wines. Not far from the wine cellar there is our stock barrels, which has a total capacity of 8,500 hl of wine, with various types of winery containers. We use traditional Italian method for the refinement , with 110 to 130 hl truncated cone-shaped vats, and 25 to 70 hl barrels, together with special oaken cask known as Barrique with small French barrels of 222 l. Moving from the cellar, the wine production site is equipped with a high- tech bottling line. This isobaric plant has an hourly output of 8,000 bottles, which has a capacity of 20,000 bottles a year.
The company has also a modern and efficient laboratory wine that allows continuous monitoring of analytical standards, ensuring a constant quality of the wines. The awareness that good wines come from quality grapes, the copany undertakes in an experiment that begins in the wineyard.
To enrich the exteriors, as well as rooftop terraces and a small sanctuary, several structures have been realized over the years and allow the sole Director commentator Francesco Di Miceli,proudly opening the winery to the public. Among those of great value is the renovated Arena PALICI in lava rock in 2005 and nestled between the Natural Park of Etna, the Alcantara River Park and the Nebrodi, which lends itself particularly well to host artistic and cultural events.A structure built (old warehouse) in 2005,houses the tasting room and media room polivante.Finally,particularly impressive is the underground passage between the ancient lava flows that transmit sensations of hard lava flows over the centuries.