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

Chardonnay seeds
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Berries sampling is the best way to get ready for the harvest and to check quantity and quality of the wine grapes

It’s all quiet and silent this early morning, while I walk the vineyards to sample the grapes. A silence made of wind and of the vines’ breath.

Ten steps forward, the vine on my left, I pick two berries from the cluster.
Ten steps forward, the vine on my right: two berries more. Go forward for thirty-two rows, back and forth.

I stop and listen, and taste. My fingers gluey with the sugar, feeling so close to the harvest.
Back at the winery, I gently squeeze all the berries, then analyse the juice: Babo, acidity, pH. Just for verification, ‘cause the vineyards have already told me all that I will need to know to make the wine.
The vineyards told me the story that the soil confirmed, the soil that brakes and crumbles under the Sicilian merciless sun, the same story that the ocean repeats every day with its salty breath that flirts with the grapes. 

I am alone: the grapes and myself and the wine that I want to make - that I hope I will be good enough, and sensitive enough to make. Step by step, every year further, every vintage feeling more confident about myself.

I immerse myself into that microcosm, trying to feel its energy, hoping I will be good enough to pinch from the land and from the sun and from the sea their well kept secret.  

I recorded this audio last year, while sampling.
It looks like the same story, and basically it is, in many ways. But every year, every harvest, I feel it's a completely different one.



Tags: vendemmia, campionamento

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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