Tasca d’Almerita, one of the great names of the Sicilian wine Renaissance, led by Alberto Tasca, is the “European Winery of The Year”, according to the prestigious “Wine Star Award” of the American magazine “Wine Enthusiast” (whose Italian editor is Kerin O’Keefe). For the first time for a Sicilian winery, this is an award for an eight-generation wine-growing, wine-making and cultural history that is now strongly characterized by the enhancement of Sicily’s many territories, and by sustainability.
“The Tasca d’Almerita family’s commitment to sustainable viticulture in Sicily has had an extremely positive influence on wine, the environment and other wineries throughout Italy, improving quality and spreading the message of sustainability,” explains Kerin O’Keefe in her explanatory statement.
Since 1830 the Tasca d’Almerita family has been taking care of a large “estate with vineyards” in the heart of Sicily, in the Doc Contea di Sclafani: here at Regaleali in 1959 Count Giuseppe Tasca d’Almerita planted a tree, on the hills of San Lucio, Perricone and Nero d’Avola, investing in a future that few Sicilians could imagine at the time. From there, his son Lucio fought against the prejudices of a wonderful but at the time suffering region. Today, 190 years later, that story is in the hands of Alberto Tasca, a winemaker with a vision of the world who – relying on the value of people – leads passionate teamwork, betting everything on sustainability and the great qualitative potential of Sicilian wines. Since 2001, Alberto, the eighth generation of the family, has embarked on a process of development of areas particularly suited to viticulture. Over the years, Regaleali’s mother estate has been joined by Capofaro on the island of Salina, Tascante on Etna, the Whitaker estate on the ancient island of Mozia and Sallier de La Tour in the Monreale DOC.
“Our agriculture has always been based on principles of sustainability. Making wine means having a great fortune and immense responsibility – explains Alberto Tasca – to the earth, to all effects a member of our family, we entrust the task of telling the values deeply rooted in our history; we have the responsibility to preserve a gift, the beauty of the landscape, not only physical but also historical and cultural. For us wine producers at an artisan and family level, it is very important to be careful and precise in the agronomic choices that determine the health of the territory in which we live and work. Just as it is necessary to measure the impact of every action we take. The goal is not to produce sustainable wines, but to produce good and elegant wines sustainably”.
For this reason, since 2010 Tasca d’Almerita has adhered to SOStain, a sustainability protocol for Sicilian viticulture, certified by an independent third party, based on ten minimum sustainability requirements, measurable and comparable. The principle behind SOStain is that the influence of agricultural activities goes beyond the fields that are cultivated, because it also affects the welfare of workers, the health of consumers, the enhancement of the surrounding area and the conservation of natural resources.
“When we joined SOStain we did so with the conviction that we were starting a process of acquiring awareness, because we wanted to know exactly what effect every action we take in the vineyard, in the cellar and in general throughout the organization has – says Alberto Tasca – in this sense, the constant measurement, through rigorous scientific indicators, of our level of sustainability, allows us to make daily decisions based on objective data, which help us to avoid waste and reduce costs. It is a long and tiring task, which must affect all functions so that everyone is aware of what they are doing and their impact, regardless of whether the agronomic practices respect the protocols of organic, biodynamic, conventional or other agriculture”.
Being sustainable also means being transparent and telling your story, based on measurable data and assuming responsibility towards those who will drink the wine. For this reason, Tasca d’Almerita publishes an annual sustainability report in which it demonstrates the results of the actions taken and outlines future commitments. More and more consumers are attributing importance to the ethics of production and are asking for information and tools that are easy to understand and help them make informed and responsible purchasing decisions. Sicily is the pride of Tasca d’Almerita, a challenge in continuous evolution, in a region that possesses an enormous variety of varieties, precious natural and cultural genetic resources, extremely favorable climatic conditions, many types of soil that allow diversifying the production of wine. “An sustainable agriculture allows us not only to become custodians of this heritage” – continues Alberto Tasca – but also to work constantly with other fellow producers, because it is only through choral actions that real changes are generated. I dedicate this award to my entire family and to the women and men who have worked with us for generations, with wisdom and love”.
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