The traditional practice of Pantelleria’s Alberello vine belongs to the winegrowers and farmers of the island in the province of Trapani.
As many as 5,000 inhabitants of the island own land and cultivate it using sustainable methods and in several stages.
First of all, the land is levelled and then a cavity of about twenty centimetres is dug into which the vines are planted in the form of a sapling. This method is particularly ingenious as it makes the best possible use of the little water retained by the soil. Meanwhile, it also proves to be a way of sheltering the vine from strong winds.
The main stem of the vine is then pruned to produce six branches, forming a thicket with a radial arrangement.
The practice sometimes has to contend with difficult climatic conditions, but it is an extremely important ‘social’ practice for the islanders, who value maintaining and passing on the tradition from generation to generation.
The grapes of the Alberello di Pantelleria vine are harvested strictly by hand during a ritual event that begins at the end of July,
keeping the rituals and festivities organised until September, thus allowing the local community to share this social practice with which they continue to identify.
The zibíbbo grape is the island’s main cultivar, made famous by the particular richness of aromas it releases thanks to the sun and volcanic soil. It is speculated that the name ‘zibibbo’ may come from Cape Zebib (in Tunisia) and thus lead to the assumption that it was imported from Africa.
Today, the zibibbo grape is also used to produce Moscato Doc, the must of which is macerated on the skins to absorb the aromas before being fermented. Moscato di Pantelleria is also produced in Dorato and Spumante versions.
Passito di Pantelleria is a variety in which the zibibbo grapes are dried either directly on the vine or on racks immediately after harvesting.
Standard canons stipulate that the alcohol content must never be less than 20 per cent, while the Passito in the liqueur version must be at least 22%.