Rapitalà, much like Sicily itself, is a mosaic of influences that comes together to create its unique identity. A marriage of Sicilian soul and French know-how, Rapitala showcases the power and personality of Sicilian terroir with an elegant, French winemaking style.
In 1968, the French-born Count Hugues Bernard de la Gatinais, and his wife, Gigi Guarrasi from Palermo, inherited this estate from the Guarrasi family after it was destroyed by an earthquake. The winery was soon rebuilt and vineyards were replanted to include not only indigenous varieties, but beloved French varieties as well. At the forefront of the quality revolution in Sicily, Rapitala was one of the first five producers on the island to offer estate bottled wines, starting with the 1976 vintage.
Today, Rapitala’s over 550 contiguous acres are divided into 180 unique vineyard parcels. Each parcel is managed, harvested and vinified separately, crafting optimal terroir expressions. As a result, Rapitala has one of the longest harvest seasons, starting in August and ending in November, to ensure that each variety and parcel is picked at the right moment.
The work, started by Hugues de la Gatinais and his wife Gigi, is now carried on by their son, Laurent, with the same care and passion. He oversees Rapitala’s continuing mission to integrate and improve sustainable practices and new technologies into the property in order to achieve the purest expression of this region’s distinct terroir. Pushing beyond sustainability, Rapitala is starting to certify some of its vineyards as organic.
The Making of a Mosaic
Rapitala's Laurent de la Gatinias talks about the location, history and culture of Sicily's Tenuta Rapitala set in the hills of Camporeale, south of Palermo.