Wine making is a passion and it can also be fun, but vineyards also require a huge commitment, especially when it comes to the cellars where the challenge is to transform what is effectively a simple fruit juice into something more precious with its own carefully defined character and identity.
The land from which each wine originates has tremendous influence and a determining role in the end product. The estate is nestled in the Madonie Regional Natural Park, on the rolling hills of Castelbuono, in a historic Benedictine Abbey (founded by Count Ruggero d’Altavilla) dating back to the 12th century that has been restored and converted into a country house hotel, or Relais, whose main role is that of a prestigious winery where high quality wines have been cultivated and produced. These are the Santa Anastasia Abbey’s wines. Across the estate’s four hundred hectares, native and international grapes are grown organically and production has recently been converted according to biodynamic agricultural methods.
Enjoyed by Italian and international wine lovers alike, the wines produced at the Abbey of Sant’Anastasia, with its vineyards cascading across the gently rolling hills, have become firm favourites in Sicily. A culture of hospitality, an uncontaminated environment, a production philosophy that is based on respect for tradition but also for our ecosystem, with wines that are a pure interpretation of the land from which they emanate, are the winning features of a leading company in the arena of wine production.
The cellars, which are adjacent to the Abbey, are equipped with cutting-edge wine making equipment which has enabled this vineyard to produce biodynamic wines that are capable of exciting and surprising the most refined palates at the first sip. One of the wines that is produced from a Chardonnay grape is the “Sens (i) nverso” which has gone through a process of malolactic fermentation (a process in which the tart malic acid in the grapes is converted into the softer tasting lactic acid), an essential ingredient in ensuring the biological stability of red wines which is then followed by the classic aging in French oak barrels. We also cannot fail to mention the award-winning Passomaggio (a Sicilian red with protected status) which is produced from the Nero d’Avola, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
The Abbey of Sant’Anastasia is a place that blends seamlessly with the surrounding countryside and can provide accommodation with its 29 rooms in the Relais and a wellness centre that offers massages, aesthetic treatments, herbal therapies, a solarium and a modern, well-equipped gym. At the edge of the panoramic terrace, there is a large swimming pool with a whirlpool and an enchanting chapel that overlooks the historic medieval courtyard as well as a delightful garden. The restaurant, La Corte dell’Abate, is the creative hub of Chef Antonio Bonadonna who only uses local produce, much of which comes from the Abbey’s own kitchen-garden. It is also possible to book a tour of the winery with a guided tasting or to organise an excursion into the Madonie Natural Park. For the more exacting clients who wish to relax, there are the stately rooms: “Maurolico” is ideal for a business conference or event and the reading room, “Focolare di Ruggero” and “Adelasia” are perfect for smaller and more intimate business meetings.