About Colombo Marsala
The Story of Marsala
The roots of Marsala wine can be traced back to the 1700s, when a British sea merchant by the name of John Woodhouse made a stop in Sicily. Mr. Woodhouse was treated to food and wine. He was so delighted with the local wine that he decided to take a few barrels back to his home in England.
It would be a long journey back to England, so to keep the wine from spoiling during the long sea voyage, Mr. Woodhouse added brandy to the barrels of wine. Back in home town, he shared his new found wine with the townsfolk and it was an instant hit. People demanded more of this brilliant wine, so Woodhouse returned to Sicily and the Marsala industry was born.
Colombo Marsala reflects its origin – Sicilia, heritage and the essence of those first wines that John Woodhouse was so enamored with.
Our Vineyards & Winery
It is true of all good wines, and especially ours, that it is the vines and the grapes they bear that give a wine its unique and very special characteristics. Our vineyards lie at the heart of our endeavors.
Our white grape vineyards are all located in the western part of Sicilia, just slightly inland from Marsala. Vines are planted east facing with a vertical trellis system, on sandy and clay-rich soil. Because of Sicily’s favorable climate, vintages are generally quite consistent from year to year and these grapes are usually harvested in late August.
After the harvest our grapes continue their journey to the winery at Colombo Marsala, where our white wines are made, is equipped with modern soft-press machines; stainless steel temperature controlled tanks; and refurbished concrete tanks. Large Slavonian oak barrels are used here to age our Marsalas, and to finish and finesse our red wines we use French and American barriques.
The Vinification Process
Colombo Marsala is handcrafted to the exact standards of a centuries-old recipe that begins with harvesting the highest quality Grillo, Inzolia and Catarratto grapes, which are the key ingredient to our wine. Next, a “Mistella,” our special must, is made. This event takes place once per year.
Once the “Mistella” is made, select wine brandy is added to fortify the wine and add our pleasant flavor. Next, keeping with our longstanding tradition, the must is blended with the wine in copper kettles over a log fire to create subtle, unique flavor notes for Marsala Dry and Sweet.
To enrich the taste, the Colombo Marsala is then stored in Slavonian Oak Barrels for a minimum of 18 months for aging. Once properly aged, the wine is bottled and ready to enjoy!