They Can Be Heroes (Ben Rye Retrospective At Palate Press)

Vinted on August 27, 2015 binned in on the road
Palate Press Ben Rye

image: Palate Press

Continuing the coverage from my Sicily jaunt earlier this year, if you head on over to Palate Press you can now view my take on a bit of a vinous historic first (“Heroic Viticulture on the island of Pantelleria”).

While in Sicily, I was lucky enough to have a chance to visit both the wind-swept isle of Pantelleria (or, as I will now refer to it, “The Wind-Swept Isle of Pantalleria,” properly capitalized, since that seems to be the most common way it’s referenced across all of wine media, and it sounds kick-ass), and to meet at length with the Rallo clan, the family who head up iconic Sicilian producer Donnafugata (or, “Iconic Sicilian Producer Donnafugata”).

For their sense of hospitality, I would call the Rallos impeccable hosts, but they get the fully capitalized “Impeccable Hosts” title for inviting me to the first ever retrospective tasting of every available vintage of Ben Ryé, their celebrated Passito di Pantelleria dessert wine (“Celebrated Pa…” ok, you’re right, enough already)….

The Palate Press piece describes the challenges of Pantelleria viticulture, and offers my take on the highlights from that amazing tasting opportunity, so go ahead and check it out if you haven’t yet reached your raging jealousy quotient for the day. If it’s any consolation, I think that my teeth still hurt from that tasting (in a good way). If you were here with me, I’d offer you a glass, but for now you’ll have to settle for some images below that I took during the tasting in Marsala, and the visit to the Wind-Swept Isle.

Ben Ryé retrospective

Ben Ryé retrospective


Pantelleria farming

Pantelleria farming


Wind-swept Zibbibo

Wind-swept Zibibbo on Pantelleria

Ben Ryé 1992

Pantelleria farming 2

Martian terraforming?

Pantelleria farming 3






  • SAHMmelier

    Jealous, yes, but happy for you. Looks amazing. High on my list of dream trips.

    • 1WineDude

      SAHM – you would have LOVED it!

  • Kayla K

    I really like the landscape style in all your photos.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks! :)

  • Jen Martin (Vino Travels)

    What an awesome experience. Such a great wine and I heard fantastic things about the Rallo family.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Jen. Certainly all of my dealings with the Rallos (which, granted, amounts to a handful of days) bolster the reputation that they are genuinely very good people.

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