arrow
Stories

Fresh ricotta cheese and natural wines: traditions and products to share

Sharing traditions is the best way to recount and protect them. In a land of contrasts like Sicily, there are producers who are committed to preserving the ecosystem and biodiversity as much as possible, indulging nature and its whims.

Valcerasa: authentic wines that listen to nature

Valcerasa, a holding on the northern slope of Etna, is one of them: a charming and hospitable place, where agronomic management is very sensitive to the environment and follows the principles of organic farming. The vines are cultivated following the “ad alberello” practice (head-trained bush vines), using only sulphur and copper: a choice that requires manual tillage, as in times past, but grants space to progress and makes for excellent quality products, without disruption.
The wines of Valcerasa can always be found on the tables of Rocca delle Tre Contrade, thanks to a 20-year friendship and a common approach that favours quality over numbers. Alice Bonaccorsi and her husband Rosario run the family holding with passion and dedication, carrying on the tradition of viticulture that has been handed down from generation to generation.

The Sicily of shepherds: an ancient tradition for a unique product

Here guests of the villa can enjoy an almost unique experience, tasting freshly-made genuine products, such as sheep’s milk ricotta cheese.
Ricotta is a fundamental product of the Sicilian culinary tradition and a core ingredient in Dora’s kitchen. It can be eaten in many ways: fresh, sweetened for desserts, baked, salted, grated over pasta alla norma, a traditional Sicilian recipe using aubergines to dress the pasta. Its central role in the island’s recipes is reflected in the importance of the figure of the shepherd, one of the oldest professions in the world (sheep are said to have been domesticated, probably in Anatolia and Mesopotamia, between 10,000 and 8,000 BCE), but increasingly difficult to pass on, because it is so labour-intensive. Being able to eat fresh, still-warm ricotta cheese is very rare nowadays, which is why Jon and Dora decided to give their guests this opportunity.

An unforgettable experience of genuine food and Mediterranean hospitality

A picnic in the spectacular scenery of Valcerasa is destined to become one of those memories that stay with you forever: Etna and its crater, ancient vineyards, and a beautiful centuries-old mulberry tree create the perfect atmosphere for a unique tasting of wines, typical dishes, and fresh ricotta cheese.
An informal lunch outdoors with delicacies prepared by Dora, such as caponata – another traditional Sicilian dish made with aubergines in a sweet and sour sauce -, pasta bakes and lasagna, glasses of Etna Bianco and Etna Rosso offered by Alice, freshly-made ricotta from the shepherd, to be eaten with a spoon. Guests, most of them foreigners, particularly appreciate this moment: a special opportunity to discover an ancient tradition and to taste, often for the first time, a traditional Sicilian product at peak freshness.

Creating convivial and gratifying situations that enrich their guests’ experience is important to Jon and all the staff at Rocca delle Tre Contrade, who are constantly striving to ensure that visitors discover and experience the most authentic and genuine sides of Sicily.

 

Related articles