Curatolo Arini

This estate is the oldest family-owned Marsala producer in Sicily today. It was founded in 1875 by Vito Curatolo Arini, who added Arini, his mother’s family name, in order to distinguish himself from the many other Curatolos living in his area. The estate has always been linked to high-quality Marsala production and in the late 1970s also started producing still wines from native grapes. IAN D’AGATA, vinous December 2015

What a magical place is Marsala! There is no single Sicily as it is, but Marsala on the far western coast is so much more diverse than anywhere on this island. It reflects in its customs, food and architecture, most of the multitude of occupiers over the millennia – that have included Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Normans, Saracens, Berbers and Spaniards, culminating in Marsala being the starting point for Garibaldi’s Italian unification crusade. Then there’s the wine. Marsala is one of those anachronisms which, as a classic, is just starting to reappear from a period out of fashion. The wonderful authentic purity of the Curatolo-Arini wines – a craft this family commenced commercially in the middle 19th century – and their remarkable value make them the way to start again with Marsala. The Curatolo-Arini table wines are also beautiful examples, modern in their making, but authentic and native renditions of the indigenous varieties mostly from inland vineyards at altitudes – the secret of their freshness and acids – up to 500m; the white Inzolia (and Catarratto), along with the islands best-known red grape Nero d’Avola along with a gorgeous, lively Syrah, a grape that has migrated here so naturally. These wines also offer notable value.

On the Marsala front, the family has been making stunning fortified wines since 1875 and each generation has added a new chapter to this story by continuing the proud tradition of winemaking. Today, Curatolo Arini hold the mantle of being the oldest family owned Marsala producer in Sicily.