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

Wine Bloggers Tour 2013
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Indigenous yeast and spontaneous fermentation unveiled: the WestSicily Wine Blogger's Tour in Menfi and Marsala

I love wine bloggers, and this is not a news.
I love them because they are curious, informal, overwhelming. They love what they do, drink much wine, and smile a lot.

A small group of bloggers visited the winery today, thanks to the perfect organization of Giampiero Nadali, Elisabetta Tosi and Valeria Carastro with full support and finance from the Regione Siciliana - Istituto Regionale Vini e Oli.

We mainly focused on understanding the influence of yeast strains on wine fermentation.

I prepared three samples of Petit Verdot, which was harvested last Tuesday. The first sample was plain juice, kept in the fridge to avoid oxidation and minimize color change. The second sample was must fermenting with selected yeast, while the third was fermenting with indigenous yeast.

Two questions were asked: is there any difference between selected and indigenous yeast? And: which one respects the grape’s character better?

Even after only a short fermentation, the two samples appeared to be very different, both in color and taste. We all found much more structure and lively acidity in the wild ferment, while the selected yeast had produced softer flavors. Some bitterness was perceivable in the indigenous sample, due to huge tannic extraction from the grape’s seeds, while the selected showed a final rounder character.
Not focusing on individual preference for one or the other, it was evident that the wine changes enormously, and that all difference depends on the yeast used for fermentation.

Now, my personal question: is there a real need for another round soft easy wine in the market? 

cover photo: courtesy @aristideblog

Tags: lieviti indigeni, fermentazione spontanea, vinificazione, Wine Blogger Tour

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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