Donnafugata is a Sicilian winery making wine from a number of native and international varieties. It was founded in the 1980s by the Rallo family, who have a winemaking history dating back to the 19th Century.
The name of the winery comes from a combination of the flight of Maria Carolina, Queen of Naples, who escaped to Sicily ahead of Napoleon's army in the early 1800s, and a reference to the Italian novel Il Gattopardo. "Donna in fuga" translates roughly as "woman on the run"; the estate to which Queen Carolina absconded became known as Donnafugata and is now the modern site of the winery's vineyards.
Donnafugata was established as a brand in 1983 by Giacomo and Gabriella Rallo, and eventually passed on to their children. It has 270 hectares (667 acres) of vineyards in Contessa Entellina, 68ha (168 acres) in Pantelleria, the island west of Sicily, and cellars in Marsala that were built in 1851. The winery has a track record of sustainable and environmentally friendly practices and a number of matching third-party certifications. In 2011, Donnafugata began calculating the carbon footprint of its wines and, since 2014, these calculations have been displayed on the bottles.
Donnafugata is known for having a wide catalog of wines. The most well known are made from native Sicilian varieties such as Nero d'Avola, Ansonica (Inzolia), Catarratto and Zibbibo (Muscat of Alexandria). The winery benefits from the broad range of grapes allowed in the Contessa Entillina DOC, which can be used to designate red, white and rosés. Along with the Sicilian varieties used in the region's wine, the international grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Pinot Nero, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are also permissible and used in its DOC and IGT wines. More restrictive designation requirements apply to the sweet wines made on Pantelleria from Moscato that carry the Passito or Moscato di Pantelleria DOC.