• My name is Marilena Barbera
    and I am a winegrower.
    I live and make my wines in Menfi, Sicily.

A family in the vineyards
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La Vota vineyard enjoys a special microclimate along the border of the Belice River Natural Reservation

We are performing green harvest on Cabernet Sauvignon at La Vota vineyard today.

La Vota is a “loop” in the course of the Belìce River, which was originally covered with swamps and where my grandfather and uncles used to go for hunting wild ducks and eels.

In the late ‘50s, after getting his degree in hydraulic engineering, my father developed an ambitious project to reclaim that area, building a complex drainage system that would dry up a total of five hectares’ of virgin land where he started to experiment with modern agricultural techniques: he thus planted artichokes, fruits and, most of all, he planted vines.

Qualcuno mette su famigliaThe sole variety that could survive the particular conditions of La Vota is Cabernet Sauvignon

Here the microclimate is very humid, with the sea breeze blowing all day long; the soil is fertile, light and sandy, with a good fraction of clay and silt.

The River is just behind: during the freshest rainy years the flood invades the Valley, and fresh waters submerge the vineyards for a few days. Not that the vines get hurt, because they are dormant in December and January; the flood comes and goes, leaving sediments that would enrich the terrain with a strong mineral component.

The grapes get slowly ripe under the warm Sicilian sun, thanks to the huge temperature gap between night and day.

Mother Nature lives at La Vota: groves of reeds flourish along the dikes, a home for wild bees, little amphibians and migrant birds. Woodcocks, thrushes and herons nest here: sometimes, someone even thinks the vineyards are the right place to start a family… 

Tags: La Vota, cabernet sauvignon, Tenuta Belicello, Fiume Belice, viticulture

My story

My story

We have been winegrowers for three generations: a 100 years long story, a legacy of love and respect
Wine book

Wine book

Always up-to-date with all available wines and vintages: ready for browsing, or for immediate download

Photo album

Photo album

My book of photo shots from my vineyard in Sicily, available in HR for download - please cite the source

Video gallery

Video gallery

My YouTube channel with harvest stories, tastings, travels and meetings with very special people


Between a road map and a winery notebook, a personal digital moleskine with notes on winemaking, tastings and events, people I meet, places I see: my everyday life in the wine world.

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