A raft of organic wines from Sicily is ready to be introduced to the UK market.

Azienda Agricola Cortese, from the Ragusa area of Sicily, is an estate which winemaker Stefano Girelli acquired in recent years with the aim of feeding into his nearby winery, Feudo di Santa Tresa, one of Sicily’s oldest wineries.

Girelli told DRN that when it became clear that the climate, soil and grapes were substantially different between the two estates, he decided to keep the wines separate and the Cortese brand was born. It is now ready to hit the UK market.

He said: “We originally wanted it to fit into the Santa Tresa programme but we changed our minds with the first harvest as it was so different. We decided that if we could show the difference we could tell a different story for Sicily and the estate.”

Under the organic Cortese brand there are two tiers: the entry-level Nostru, which includes a Catarratto Lucido, a Carricante and a Nerello Mascalese; and Selezione Cortese, which is reserved for estate-grown grapes only. Under the Selezione label there are three wines available for the UK market: Vanedda Bianco 2016 (rsp: £14), Sabuci Cerasuola Di Vittoria Classico DOCG 2016 (rsp: £18) and Senia Nero’d’Avola (rsp: £18).

Girelli added: “Etna is overcrowded right now and I don’t know if you can make wine at great value right now from there, but what I like about Sicily is the good character and personality you can get, and at the moment if you get the timing right you can get good acidity and freshness.

“I think Sicily truly in the future will deliver phenomenal white wine and we have traditional varieties as well as international ones. We are now trying to bring to life some of the really old ancient grape varieties.”

The range is available through TWP Wines.