Tasca d’Almerita pioneers sustainability efforts in Sicily as first Italian producer to obtain both SOStain and VIVA certifications
Alberto Tasca, eighth-generation CEO of Tasca d’Almerita
(May 9, 2017; Sicily, IT)—Alberto Tasca, eighth-generation CEO of Sicily’s Tasca d’Almerita, is thrilled to announce that Tasca is the first Italian agricultural company to obtain dual sustainability certifications from SOStain and VIVA, respectively. SOStain was founded in 2010 by Ettore Capri, director of OPERA, the Research Centre for Sustainable Agriculture at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, with support from Alberto Tasca. The program gained early support from the University of Milan to promote sustainability in all aspects of Italian farming and winemaking and was subsequently recognized by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. VIVA, a government-supported agricultural sustainability certification program, was founded in 2011.
“Seven years ago we embarked on this gratifying and challenging journey and we are incredibly proud to have earned both certifications. Sustainability is something that we take very seriously and we know that the road is still long, but this is a good start,” says Alberto Tasca. “Each and every one of us will continue to work hard and contribute through our specific roles within the organization, to protect the environment in which we live and work.”
The SOStain certification process seeks to promote sustainability in Italian winemaking from an environmental, social and economic standpoint. The process begins by horizontally evaluating a company’s sustainability efforts which takes into account the impact of the company’s activities as a whole, as opposed to solely focusing on the production process as it relates to each product. The SOStain certification involves ten requirements—from organic farming and wine analysis to the use of local resources and suppliers—all of which are integral to the interconnection between society, the environment, and the Earth’s preservation. Planeta was another heavyweight with initial interest and is still seeking certification, along with four other Sicilian producers that have since joined the movement, demonstrating the far-reaching impact this certification has on sustainability and agriculture. For more information on SOStain certification requirements, visit: www.sostain.it/EN/SOStain.aspx
VIVA was established in 2011 by the Italian Ministry of the Environment in order to measure the performance of sustainability in vineyards. To establish the certification, the Italian Ministry collaborated with a small group of wineries and utilized the scientific support of OPERA. Its analysis is based on four elements—air, water, territory and the vineyard—with the goal of improving agricultural sustainability. As of 2014, VIVA has successfully defined the technical specifications for the analysis of the four sustainability indicators serving as a reference for future certifications. More information on VIVA Sustainable Wine: www.viticolturasostenibile.org/EN/Project.aspx
About Tasca d’Almerita
More than any other winery, this historic but forward-looking family enterprise embodies the marriage of quality and authenticity that has put Sicilian wine on the world map and turned it into one of Italy’s most fascinating and varied wine regions.
The company’s home base of Regaleali, a magnificent 1,236-acre farming estate in the center of Sicily, has been in the family since 1830. It was here, in the 1970s, that Count Lucio Tasca first demonstrated Sicily’s ability to produce world-class wines able to compete in blind tastings with the very best European and New World vintages. Today, Lucio’s son Alberto – with a strong collaboration and dedicated support from his brother Giuseppe – continues his father’s pursuit of quality and passion for innovation and research. Tasca d’Almerita’s focus on quality and its refusal to rest on its laurels were recognized in October 2011 when the company was named ‘Winery of the Year’ in the 2012 edition of Italy’s bestselling wine guide, Vini d’Italia, published by Gambero Rosso.
Today, Tasca d’Almerita is present in five prime winemaking locations around Sicily, places where vines, soil, Sicilian sun, diverse landscapes and the age-old work of man form a unique terroir, which finds its perfect expression in the cellar, the bottle and the glass thanks to the company’s unrivalled winemaking expertise. From hand-harvested vineyards totaling 1,061 acres, Tasca d’Almerita produces 30 wines, each with a unique character, which are exported to over 50 countries.
Since 2000, Tasca has reached out across Sicily, embracing the unique territories that make this Mediterranean island such a rising star on the global wine scene. The new millennium has seen the family company expand beyond its home estate of Regaleali into four other sites of Sicilian oenological excellence: Salina, Mozia, Mount Etna, and Monreale. Steered by Alberto Tasca, the company continues to grow and develop, inventing, producing and sharing the wealth and diversity of this ancient land and spreading its values of solidity, consistency and steadfast, hard work.
Each of the five estates represents five faces of Sicily’s rich and complex character. On the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna, which wine writer Jancis Robinson has called the “Burgundy of the Mediterranean,” Tascante, an estate of nearly 63 acres, is a vineyard site of archaic beauty on Sicily’s new oenological frontier. The estate is an extraordinary sight of 110 terraces, each of 6.5 feet in width built with dark volcanic rock, surrounded by orchards of chestnut trees and deep, rich volcanic soil.
Bathed in southern light, the Tenuta Capofaro on the Aeolian island of Salina produces a heady dessert wine from the Malvasia grape, planted on the cliffs overlooking the sea and interspersed with bright bougainvillea flowers and indigenous caper plants. In the verdant hills behind Palermo, Tenuta Sallier de La Tour generates contemporary Sicilian wines of refined elegance, expressing the unity of countryside and sea breezes. And on the former Phoenician island of Mozia, near Marsala, Tenuta Whitaker is a little oenological jewel and museum under the sky, where the Grillo grape expresses all its summery verve, amongst the archeological sites and the sea.
Tasca d’Almerita is also focused on Sicilian hospitality, with facilities for wine tastings and tours at Regaleali and Capofaro. Both estates also offer accommodation: the vines of Capofaro are laid out amidst the villas of Salina’s most exclusive resort; and Regaleali offers authentic and warm country-home hospitality in the family manor house, a place where the family history and wines come to life.
For more information about Tasca d’Almerita, please go to http://tascadalmerita.it/en