Fifty shades of gold: Wine and Olive oil, Pantelleria autumn
Autumn in Pantelleria is a magic season, for many reasons. First of all is an extension of the summer that can be felt in the shores of the sea, thanks to the mild temperatures that characterise the island and with this year's ottobrata are even more propitious. In second place, Pantelleria in autumn is a celebration of this heroic agriculture that defines the techniques used by the pantescan farmers, recognised as a world heritage by UNESCO.
There's a real heroic character in taking advantage of these particular methods of cultivation and its in using every single and precious resource given by the nature and to tame them at the same time in order to obtain the best possible fruits. It's famous for the "ad alberello" farming that is used in Pantelleria for the grape wine and olive trees: low tillage, bent only in the aspect but that in reality proud carriers worldwide recognised, as the Zibibbo grapes and the biancolilla olive tree. Wine and olive oil, two old and precious leading roles of the economy and the food production of the island.
The grapes start to give their sweet fruits from mid-august, when the harvest begins in Pantelleria, and goes on until the first half of October. The grapes, cultivated in more than 3000 hectares of fertile terroir, undergoes through different uses: part of it is used to produce Zibibbo, a sweet wine with an exotic bouquet, rich in flavour and perfume, as the main protagonist of the Pantescan table and which represents the heady character ;another part of it are dried up at the sun for at least 20 days over the stones and after the squeezing and fermenting of the must, it becomes the famous Passito of Pantelleria, delicious and heady, right for meditation. We can't forget to mention a milder wine, as an after meal drink: the Moscato, grafted with non-dried up grapes and is the best choice for those who look for a lower alcoholic grade but with the same sweet taste.
Autumn in Pantelleria offers all the shades of gold: from the warm a reddish ones of the Moscato and the Passito, to the straw-coloured of the Zibibbo, passing through the green shades of the new olive oil, another nectar of the island. A delicious oil that come from the biancolilla tree. That marks the landscape of the island and like the capers, it bend to wind and grows low, with their branches almost reaching the ground. Every two years, each plant gives its best fruits, a little bit oversized, from where it comes and unmistakeable flavour, considered highly valuable for it low acidity. The harvest of the olives is strictly hand-picked, and is an event where everyone participates, a hard work during which together with the effort and patient work it mixes the bonds and the pleasure of being together, renewing one of the old traditions that has forever marked the season and the rhythm of the island: in this case, an event not be missed to feel the autumn and the real, authentic and genuine flavours of Pantelleria.