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Calogero Statella was born into Sicily’s renowned wine culture – literally. His father, Antonino Statella, is one of the island’s most noted sommeliers and a restaurant chef-owner, and since his earliest memory Calogero has been immersed in learning what makes Sicilian wine so special.
Since Feudo Arancio’s founding in 2001, he has put this knowledge to use as the head winemaker at this state-of-the-art winery, Sicily’s most modern facility. There, Calogero crafts palate-pleasing wines that are balanced and food-friendly. He comments, “Growing up in a restaurant, I really appreciate the connection between wine and food. If the wine is made in the right style, the wine and the meal should make each other better.”
Arancio owns 2,200 acres of prime vineyard lands, where the winery grows local varietals Nero d’Avola and Grillo, and international varietals Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. With each, Calogero creates wines that are true to their varietal character. “I believe that wine is made in the vineyard, and my role is to let the fruit speak fully,” he says. “Arancio has the ideal elements to make great wines, and I strive to combine those elements so the wines are an expression of climate, terroir, and the grapes’ distinct personalities.”
Calogero is youthful (26 years old) but experienced; he graduated at age 19 from Italy's prestigious winemaking institute, Instituto Agrario di San Mechele (Adige, Italy). He went on to earn a masters degree in viticulture and oenology, and worked at several Italian wineries and as a teacher to Sicilian sommelier students. When Gruppo Mezzacorona, one of Italy’s most influential wineries, established Feudo Arancio in Sambuca di Sicilia (in the Agrigento province of southwestern Sicily) in 2001, they tapped this rising star as their head winemaker. With Calogero’s experience, enthusiasm, and talent, and the growing international interest in quality Sicilian wine, he should help keep Feudo Arancio at the forefront of the region’s exciting wine scene for years to come.