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Who is Donnafugata?

Who is DONNAFUTAGA? Probably our 2020 obsession.

Donnafugata is the epitome of wine craftsmanship. The essence of Donnafugata offers the world wines distinguished by pleasantness and complexity. Wines that are capable of captivating and making happy those who taste them. Producing a range of eclectic and consistent wines with respect for the environment. As well as the intention to represent the excellence of Made in Italy, the dialogue between art, wine and sustainability.

The name Donnafugata refers to the novel by Tomasi di Lampedusa entitled Il  b (The Leopard). A name that means “donna in fuga” (woman in flight). Referencing to the story of a queen who found refuge in the part of Sicily where the company’s vineyards are located today. An adventure that inspired the corporate logo: the image of a woman’s head with windblown hair that dominates every bottle. Donnafugata labels are a homage to art and literature. Unique and inimitable, they represent a way of being, a style. Inspired by Gabriella Rallo they are designed by Stefano Vitale, an exceptional artist with a unique stroke, capable of making the personality of each wine shine.

With 160 years of experience acquired by the Rallo family in the field of wine. 5 wineries, 405 hectares of vineyards, 20 grape varieties. They are in 60 countries and with 7 acredited certifications - 6 ambiental and quality + 1 for carbon footprint. Donnafugata pride themselves on respecting the environment, wines distinguished by their pleasantness, and complexity wines. Capable of making happy those who taste them, representing an innovative Sicily.


In the vineyard Donnafugata does not use herbicides, chemical fertilizers, and minimizes the use of phytopharmaceuticals. Thanks to integrated control techniques, such as the monitoring of climate parameters (rainfall, temperature, humidity etc.) and the control of insects (moths) present, through the use of pheromone traps. 

Donnafugata is also pursuing grape sustainability and excellence with the use of green manure and organic fertilization. Rationalizing the use of natural resources such as soil, water, air and energy. The good practices adopted by Donnafugata in the vineyard (Good Agricultural Practices, GAP) are an indispensable instrument for the production of healthy and perfectly ripe grapes, minimizing environmental impact.

Carbon Footprint

Calculating the Carbon Footprint of its wines and displaying the certification on every bottle is a commitment towards consumers. Since 2011, Donnafugata has worked with DNV, one of the leading certifying bodies in the world, to quantify the CO2 emissions throughout the entire production cycle, from the vineyard to bottling. 

Donnafugata reduced its Carbon Footprint by 10%. throughout the entire production cycle. By processing data collected, they were able to introduce initiatives designed to reduce environmental impact even further. Use of a lighter bottle, saving on emissions connected with production of glass and those connected with transport as well as replacement of technical corks with Select BIO synthetic corks with zero carbon footprint and 100% recyclable. 

Clean Energy

On the path to sustainability, Donnafugata has focused above all on reducing its energy consumption. Two key roles were photovoltaic and Nocturnal harvesting

An important contribution to sustainability is achieved by the production of clean energy from renewable sources with photovoltaic systems installed at Contessa Entellina (50k) and Marsala (50 Kw), that allow the reduction of CO2 emissions per year.

At the Contessa Entellina estate, night-time harvest has been introduced for Chardonnay grapes. Exploiting the difference in temperature between day and night (16-18 °C /60- 64° F) reduces the amount of energy needed to cool the grapes before crushing by 70%. During the second ten days of August, the Chardonnay is harvested at night. Temperature drops to 16-18°C, allowing the best preservation of aromatic wealth of the grapes. The white grapes are cooled and pressed at a temperature of about 10°C (50°F). 

Reviving Century old vineyard

In 1999, Donnafugata breathed new life into a century-old vineyard in the Khamma district on Pantelleria. Planted with Zibibbo (Muscat of Alexandria), it contained several ungrafted plants that had survived phylloxera(bug infestation) and were over 100 years old. Unique vines, healthier and with a longer lifespan than grafted plants. It is capable of resisting well to drought, limestone, and salinity, producing exceptional grapes. These specimens, are of great historical importance for Sicilian viticulture, have made Ben Ryé Passito di Pantelleria even more complex and elegant.

Discover more interesting facts on Ben Ryé here!

Here at Boundbywine we are constantly on the lookout for vineyards bringing new life and sustainable changes into the industry. Donnafutaga is the perfect example. Promoting music and wine, they even launch a project invoking a multi-sensory experience during their wine tastings.

The first live CD was released with a concert at the Blue Note jazz club in Milan in October 2004. In 2005 12.000 CDs have been distributed in wine shops and restaurants all over Italy and a sum of € 120.000 has been raised. The funds from sales of the CD were mainly invested in new medical equipment for the Pediatric Heart Surgery Department of the Palermo Civic Hospital. The rest of the money has been donated to provide accommodation for the young patient’s families in need.

Leading Donnafugata is José, head of management control and communications manager, is a female entrepreneur prepared to put herself on the line to present her wines, even in the role of vocalist. She was awarded with the Premio Bellisario 2002 for her contribution to the valorisation of female entrepreneurship.

Check out José's breathtaking interpretation of enjoying Anthilia. A Wine Tasting in Jazz: Voice, cello and clarinet play Sina from Djavan: a song with a Brazilian beat and a "burst of freshness" like Anthilia