Costanza Di Mineo: Steeped in history…





“Wine is a tool that has the capacity to shape the community landscape and to empower families to take charge of their own destiny more than any other project.” Maurizio Miccichè is better equipped than most to comment on the unifying capacities of winemaking within the community. “For me, wine is always a project concerning memory, family, community and social responsibility.” The family lineage of the Sicilian born doctor and brand ambassador for Costanza Di Mineo is deeply ingrained within the sun-baked soils of one of the world’s most iconic wine regions.

Winemakers in Sicily since 1750, his family were responsible for building the first ever winery in the Valle dello Jato in 1860, in an area that is still known as Case Miccichè. In addition to being a hugely prominent family in the Sicilian wine trade, their heritage and that of their ancestors has been characterised by a courageous willingness to use wine as a catalyst in the nascent anti-Mafia movement, which has been a huge part of Sicily’s fractured history.

In the early 1800s the Mineo family - whose union with the Miccichès was cemented by the marriage of Rosa Mineo and Antonio Miccichè - founded the first agricultural cooperatives called ‘Sturziane’; a nod to their affinities towards Don Luigi Sturzo, an Italian Catholic priest and politician revered in the region as one of the fathers of Christian democracy. Convinced of the need for the Church to be proactive in the lives of the working class and to provide a Catholic alternative to socialism, Sturzo and Salvatore Mineo, founded The Italian People’s Party (PPI Partito Poplare Italiano).
 
 
Rosa Mineo 
 
Collectively they sought to offer the working class a moderate alternative to the well-documented corruptions of Italian liberalism and the revolutionary politics of the Italian Socialist Party. Salvatore’s leading role in the PPI saw him appointed Mayor of San Giuseppe Jato in 1919, but unfortunately his passionate, moral fortitude and strong reforming activities against an oppressive and violent organisation resulted in his assignation. To this day Salvatore Mineo is still commemorated as the “Sindaco Buono” (The Good Mayor).
 
A legacy to be proud of...

It is this strong sense of identity and social responsibility that has characterised the Costanza Di Mineo project and in addition to being recognised for the quality of their exceptional wines, they are passionate about protecting the heritage and provenance of Sicily.

Sustainability and organic growing in a socially conscience fashion are the primary principles of Costanza di Mineo wines and over the next five years the company are investing $16 million on environmentally sustainable measures and are committed to being totally Green by 2017. These include using PV (photovoltaic) power generated by solar panels, and renewable energy, produced by sustainably fuelled Biomass, in order to save a total of 272,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. In addition to providing renewable energy for the wineries and estates, the above measures will also provide 10,000 residential homes in local communities with power.

In an area of stunning natural beauty, and one rich in historical and cultural narratives, Maurizio Miccichè is a guardian of his ancestors’ traditions and remains intent on maintaining the long-term viability of these swallowing agricultural landscapes.
 
 
 
Don Antonio Miccichè, with his grandsons, Giuseppe and Maurizio 

 
History

1750 The Miccichè family move to the Valle dello Jato and plant 200 hectares of vines.

1860 The first winery was built in the Valle dello Jato in an area that is still known as Case Miccichè.

1920 Miccichè and Costanza families immigrate to Tunisia to set up vineyards.

1926 Marriage of Antonio Miccichè and Rosa Mineo unites the Miccichè and Mineo families.

1958 Marriage of Vincenzo Miccichè and Anna Costanza Lazio unites the Miccichè and Costanza families.

1968 The family’s uncompromising commitment to quality leads to them acquiring 450 hectares of vineyards on the hills of the Ginestra area. Dr. Vincenzo Miccichè also establishes the grower's cooperative of Castel di Maranfusa in San Cipirello. Today 154 wine growers are now members of Castel di Maranfusa and the grapes from 661 hectares of vineyards (located in Sicily and Apulia) are processed at the Mediterranean Domains & Estates winery.

1980 Calatrasi winery in San Cipirello is founded by the Miccichè brothers, Giuseppe and Maurizio.

1992 More than 600 hectares of vineyard are acquired in Corleone and Campofiorito, 600 metres above sea level.

2000 The Tunisian winery Domaine Neferis is founded.

2002 Land was acquired in the Salento area of Apulia.

2004 Land in Mazara del Vallo, 80 to 130 metres above sea level, is acquired.

2009 Calatrasi named as the best Italian wine producer at The International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC).

2014 Complete restructuring of the company and creation of Mediterranean Domains & Estates S.R.L. 
 
 

 
Article first appeared in Under the Skin Magazine, Summer Edition 2014. CellarVie Wines' quarterly print publication accompanies all orders on www.cellarviewines.com 
 

     
 

Written by: Ben Moss

Ben Moss 

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