My “wine life review” of 2021 continues! Here I reflect on a Zoom call with winery owner and “sustainable” wines advocate Stefano Girelli from Purato wines.
Blimey, looking back on 2021 I’m amazed at how many winemakers I met from the comfort of my own home!
Stefano’s Sicily-based brand has a green philosophy, and not just across grape growing, but also wine making and packaging.
Stefano said: “I always wanted to grow organic grapes and make organic wines at a really high standard and good quality level.
“By knowing Sicily more, I realised that it’s the perfect region.”
He explains: “Because its an island, and down in the south, Sicily has ideal weather for growing grapes organically.”
Sicily, says Stefano, produces more organic produce than any other region in Italy.
He explains: “The reason is simple: climate, the soil, and the situation.”
The future is key to Stefano.
He says it “will be led by people who start taking care of the planet”.
“Organic wine isn’t just about not using pesticides, it’s about being environmentally friendly with what’s around us.
“To take care of our own land is to ultimately leave a better planet.”
Stefano is hugely enthusiastic about the working practices he has developed and the wines being created.
It’s not just about the grapes.
Stefano explains his ethos: “We have tried to take environmentally friendly outlook not just with organic growing.
“All the packaging of Purato is environmentally-friendly.
“We felt that if we wanted to be organic in the liquid, we should be thinking organically in the rest of the package.
“Even the glass bottles are mainly from recycled glass,” he says.
Here’s three of the wines:
A white: Purato Catarratto Pinot Grigio Terre Siciliane IGP:
Pinot grigio makes up 40% of the blend of this wine, the rest being the Sicilian native variety catarratto.
The pinot grigio adds high acidity and catarratto adds structure and body.
Stefano says: “We have the nutty taste of the catarratto and the floral note of the pinot grigio.
“On the palate, there’s the softness of the catarratto and acidity and minerality of the pinot grigio.”
I awarded this wine a very big tick!
A pink: Purato Rosé Terre Siciliane IGP:
(RRP £10 at Ocado)
This is 100% Nero d’Avola, which is a grape variety native to Sicily.
Says Stefano: “We wanted to have a really lighter, fruity style.
“The grapes are picked early to retain a lovely acidity.”
After fermentation, the wine is kept on fine lees for added body.
He says: “It’s very pleasant, with extra body and softness from the Nero d’Avola.
“There’s floral notes and on the palate it has a good acidity and minerality.”
Oh my, the wine is very, very drinkable.
A red: Purato Nero d’Avola Sicilia DOC:
Stefano’s aim is to create a red wine which pairs easily with different Italian foods.
It’s perfect with a pizza, with salami, pasta, or a chicken.
The wine hasn’t had oak contact and so is not overly complex.
The wine “is so versatile” enthused Stefano.
I enjoyed the wine’s ripe, dark fruits and soft gentle tannins.
It was pretty tasty with an easy peasy cottage pie supper!
A version of this piece was first published in February 2021 across Jane Clare’s regional drinks’ columns