While Stefano and Marina Girelli are from Trento in the extreme north of Italy, it is the island of Sicily in the country’s deep south that has captured their hearts. Stefano realised many years ago that Sicily was generally underrated as quality wine producing region and that the potential for making premium wines was tremendous. Crucially, he also recognised that conditions for producing organic, low-intervention wines are perfect on the Sicilian island.

The previous owner of Azienda Agricola Cortese was the formidable matriarch lady Giovanna Cortese. It was some years ago that Giovanna first decided to sell the estate after she realised that she had reached an age when she couldn’t run it by herself, and it had become clear that no one in the family was going to take over.  A true Sicilian, Giovanna is a tough negotiator and it has taken six years to reach a final agreement on the purchase of Cortese in 2016.

The vineyards had been neglected over the years, since the work had become overwhelming.  The vines were in a terrible state, they had been virtually abandoned, with no irrigation for over ten years.  Our first thought when taking ownership in July 2016 was to completely replant the vineyards, the winery too was in a poor state. Since there were only a few weeks until the harvest, we decided to do some immediate maintenance work at the winery and at the same time we irrigated the vineyards in order to allow the grapes to mature as well as possible.

There was a month of intense activity in the winery, then in the third week of August we started the harvest.  
During the harvest period it became clear that these mature vines had some unique clones – something really different – and that the fully ripened grapes were truly exceptional, despite the condition of the vineyards.

At Cortese, we produce wine in the most traditional and natural way to reflect the true character of the estate’s terroir and its grape varieties. 
Taking tradition as our inspiration, we started to employ ancient wine-making techniques such as fermentation in terracotta.  The resulting wines reflect the combination of modern technology and traditional techniques, with every nuance of the terroir showing through.


C.da Sabuci, 3 Km 11 | VITTORIA | RAGUSA | ITALIA

+39 0932 875 615 - info@agricolacortese.com



I dati derivati tramite il seguente modulo da Lei volontariamente forniti per l'attivazione dei servizi richiesti saranno trattati da parte di SOCIETÀ AGRICOLA CORTESE ai sensi del D.lgs. n. 196/2003 (Codice in materia di protezione dei dati personali) e del Regolamento (UE) 2016/679) in materia di protezione delle persone fisiche con riguardo al trattamento dei dati personali e di libera circolazione di tali dati e s.m.i. Clicca qui per l'informativa completa.