Marsili Bianco 2022

Producer: Tenuta di Castellaro
Region: Sicily
Appellation: Bianco Frizzante
Country: Italy
Classification: IGT
Wine Type: Sparkling
Variety: Moscato Bianco
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 12.5%
Residual Sugar: 1.6 g/L
Soil: Volcanic sand, full of lapilli, pumace, obsidian, caolin
Farming Practices: Certified organic, sustainable, vegan
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Cellar Profile

Tenuta di Castellaro’s breathtaking, sustainable winery is located on Lipari, the largest of Sicily’s volcanic Aeolian Islands. It was here, in 2005 — in this rocky, mineral rich soil — that Massimo Lentsch and Stefania Frattolillo, a couple of entrepreneurs from Bergamo, planted Castellaro’s first vineyards. Once a popular region for its rich, extracted sweet wines, the Lipari wine industry was decimated by the phylloxera outbreak in the late 1800s. Castellaro’s stunning production and burgeoning reputation has focused the world’s eyes on this tiny island once again. The winery is farmed organically, with a keen eye toward sustainability and minimal ecological impact. It is powered by cutting-edge bio-energy, including solar chimneys and wind towers – an easy source of power as the island is lashed by near-constant ocean winds. Rare Lipari Island varieties such as their famed Malvasia delle Lipari and Corinto Nero, as well as indigenous Sicilian grapes like Carricante and Nero d’Avola, are planted on steep slopes and are grown “wild”, allowing native flora and fauna to be part of the ecosystem, to add to the rich biodiversity. The wines of Castellaro are known for their elegance, rich primary fruit and delicious, lip-smacking lick of salinity from the salt-infused rains and winds of the southern Mediterranean.


Lipari Island is part of the Aeolian Archipelago, a historic group of islands on the north coast of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Lipari is the largest of these islands and home to the winery. These incredibly fertile, volcanic soils were first planted to vine by the Phoenicians and have been producing wine for thousands of years. Steady breezes on this windswept island help cool the bunches during the hottest part of the days, making extremely hospitable conditions for organic and sustainable farming practices. The region is home to the indigenous varietals Corinto Nero and Malvasia delle Lipari. The deep volcanic sands sit atop large beds of porous volcanic slabs providing excellent drainage; even the most rainy years have little detrimental effect on the grapes.


The Tenuta di Castellaro Vineyard is located on Piana di Castellaro, a volcanic plain rising 1150 ft above the nearby Mediterranean. It is farmed organically, with a keen eye toward sustainability and minimal ecological impact. Dark sandy soils are mixed with a deep layer of rich, fertile volcanic soils, with high levels of magnesium, nitrogen, calcium and potassium. Sandier soils are often deficient in potassium, which leads to poor photosynthesis and affects fruit yields and proper berry ripening. The vines are “head-trained”, with large clusters affixed to upright poles at consistent distances, allowing for higher planting density and focusing of the plant’s energy on fewer, healthier grape bunches. The proximity to the sea creates a near constant wind, which helps prevent mildew and most fungus. It also cools the berries during the midday heat, occasionally lashing them with a fine slat spray, giving the finished wines their characteristic salty tang.


There are 200-some-odd strains of the Muscat grape. Of these, Moscato Bianco di Canelli — also known as Muscat Blanc å Petits Grains — is widely considered the finest. It is grown sparingly throughout the wine world, most notably in Italy and France. In those two countries, it is best known for producing lightly spritzy, semisweet Moscato d’Asti and the sweet and delicious Muscat Beaumes-de-Venise, respectively. Believed to be the oldest known grape variety in all Piedmont, Moscato Bianco is grown throughout Italy, including old vine plantings in Sicily.


Manually harvested grapes are pressed softly. The wine is partially fermented using indigenous yeasts before being bottled on its lees, in the Ancestral Method. The wine undergoes its secondary fermentation in bottle, under crown cap, and is released after 3 months of yeast autolysis, resulting in a “Pet’Nat” style.

Tasting Notes 

Straw-coloured, with yellow flecks and tiny bubbles! The nose has biscuit, lemon-lime, pith, baked bread and quince. The palate is dry, with a gentle mousse. Biscuit, citrus and ripe tangerine notes, along with a good dose of salty minerality. The finish is long, but tart. Chill and serve with Arancini, freshly shucked oysters or a bowl of buttered popcorn.