Catarratto and chardonnay grapes give this wine fresh Mediterranean scents and a savoury, elegant flavour with a typical hint of bitter almonds. Piano Maltese is the heart of the Tenuta Rapitalà, gentle hills at between 300 and 600 metres altitude, which, because of their history, terrain and climate endow wines with a special character.
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The vineyard: selected parcels of vines in the Tenuta Rapitalà at between 300 and 600 metres above sea level are trained by the Guyot system on clayey soil with limited yields of grapes per hectare.
The vinification: the grapes are picked and vinified separately, as they ripen at different times. In the zone of Rapitalà the chardonnay reaches full maturity from 10 August onwards while the best catarratto, which comes from the vineyards cultivated on the slopes of the high hills which tower over the cellar, are picked towards the end of September. The same vinification method is used for both grapes: crushing of the grapes and separation of the stalks; immediate cooling of the must, gentle pressing and division of the different qualities of must. The young must is cold settled before beginning a slow and steady fermentation which helps realise the great potential of these two grape varieties which represent the history and the revival of Sicilian viticulture.
The maturation: the wines await the time of bottling (which happens during the month of February) on their own lees in order to increase and preserve the freshness.
The wine: yellow colour with bright tints which precedes a warm, full, fruity bouquet and a stylish, elegant flavour.
Analytical details: 13% alcohol; 5.18 g/l total acidity; 3.43 pH; 3 g/l sugar; 22 g/l dry extract.
Food matches: a wine for fine fish (sea bass, bream, shellfish) and which goes equally well with cold white meats.