The history of this winery is deeply linked to Sicilian chronicles, as the estate was officialy appointed to Baron of Serramarrocco in 1624 by the King of Spain and Sicily Philip IV. The land, already renowned for its productive and high quality vineyards, was granted to the first Baron after his utmost effort to provide shelter to fellow citizens, at a time when the Black Death was ravaging Sicily and the entire italian peninsula. Nowadays, Marco di Serramarrocco, who returned to homeland after a careeer as insurance broker in London, is running the operations and working with care and rigour in order to craft world class wines. The vineyards have a total extension of 22 hectares, and each varietal is planted as a cru, after a careful study of the terrain, in other to guarantee best growing conditions to each varietal.
Thus, each vineyard has its own name. "Vigna del Capitano" for Cabernet Sauvignon, "Sammarcello" for Pignatello, a rare sicilian varietal "Sammichele" for Cabernet Franc , "Delle Quojane" for Zibibbo and Grillo, "Sakkara" and "Del Baglio" for Nero D'Avola.
"The Vineyard is the foundation of our work. Less is more. Low Yield.. Less Quantity. Great Quality.."
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your winery?
In 1624, Don Juan Antonio Marrocco y Orioles, Lord of the Manor of Serramarrocco and Captain of Justice of Salemi, was elevated as first Baron of Serramarrocco by King Philip IV of Spain and Sicily, in recognition of Don Juan Antonio’s valiant struggle to have given shelter and aid to Kingdom’s population ravaged by black plague that swept through Sicily at that time. The bravery demonstrated in those hard times was prized with the grant of lands and creation of the Serramarrocco baronate. Those lands and heritage were preserved and the wines are still produced there.
In 2000, on the grounds of my household traditions, and after a career in London as insurance broker at Lloyd’s of London, I came back from England, in order to start a reorganization project of my family land ownership.
In 2013, Serramarrocco wine estate and its vineyards were recognized under the name Vigna di Serramarrocco as being the very first vineyard ever recorded with a micro-zoning, or Cru. Serramarrocco is now a winemaking estate, composed of approximately 60 hectares with 22 hectares of high density vineyards, which have been replanted further to a microzonation study.
Where is your winery located and what are the unique features of wines from your geographical location?
Located on the western coast of the island, at Mount Erice’s foothills in the heart of the DOC Erice wine route, the Vineyard of Serramarrocco overlooks the Egadi’s island enchanting skyline. It lays on a classic hillside sicilian landscape, intermixed with wooded areas and with sloping land plots which are renowned as being particularly vocated to vine growing, from immemorial time. The soils are primarily composed to medium-textured calcareous – clayey silt and gravel and stone elements scattered.
Since it used to be covered by sea in ancient times, it contains significant quantities of mineral micro elements available to vines as crucial for their natural development.
The property benefits from an ideal breezy, maritime microclimate, as it insists on a windy area at an altitude of approximately 350 meters above the sea level, with a significantly different range temperature between night and day. Serramarrocco is also 6 kms. away from the Temple and Amphitheatre of Segesta which are regarded as one of the largest archeological sites in Italy.
How does local history and culture influence your lifestyle and winemaking?
Vines are cultivated with a remarkable high density vines from 6.250 to 9.524 plants per hectare, with utmost attention to low yield per vine in order to allow each grape to express its very own varietal profiles, as well as being naturally enhanced by soil texture. We very much focus on the quality of the grape.
We also recovered and preserved a vineyard that was planted with vines that were given to my grandfather from Baron Rotschild Lafite. Therefore, grapevine varieties cultivated at Serramarrocco are: Pignatello, Nero d’Avola, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zibibbo, Grillo, Chardonnay and Inzolia. Vineyards have been segmented into six individual crus : Vigna del Capitano, Sammarcello, Sammichele, Sakkara, delle Quojane e del Baglio.
What is your best memory of winemaking, so far?
Last week (May 2021). I tried Serramarrocco 2001: My very first vintage. Only six bottles are left. Tasted with our Swiss importer. The wine was impeccable. It was mind blowing. It was the litmus test that 20 years later proves that we truly are on the right track.
Can you tell us about the first wine you ever made?
Again Serramarrocco 2001 bottled July 8th 2003. Dedicated to my father. Everything I do, I do it in his memory, trying to follow his teaching and principles.
As far back as it can be traced, the territory of Trapani , had always been renowned as a conglomeration of feudal domains particularly vocated to wine growing.
Today, with its 66.000 hectares of vines, the same area is being counted as the largest Europe’s wine growing district.
We concentrated on a low yield production, as we believe that less quantity brings more quality.
Tell us what wine represents for you?
It is a bond, it is the legacy that links my family heritage with our wonderful land, terroir and nature.
What do you think about the future of sustainable winemaking?
I believe that sustainable winemaking is an indispensable process to secure integrity of the grapes and therefore the identity of our wines.
A winemaking sustainable activity protects and preserves the environment, supports social responsibility, maintains economic feasibility, and produces high quality wines. Each activity, from the vineyards to the winery, is focused on maintaining the integrity of the fruit and its organoleptic heritage which requires special attention in the use of biological treatments, when necessary, in combination with plant protection products, strictly low environmental impact, carried out, together with the mechanical processing of the sub-line without the use of herbicides. The harvest has to be carried out exclusively by hand. production and ensures long standing high quality in grapes.