The Perrotta estate
is set in an architectural context that takes the shape of a rather unconventional small village compared to traditional rural settlements in the area.
The first building, the Benedictine friary, dates back to between 1500 and 1600. However, subsequent modifications made over the ages, dictated by changing needs and use, are clearly visible.
The old tradition of having living quarters for the owner actually on the estate, even if they were only used during the summer holiday season, transformed the friary into a country house. The church was left unchanged but the other buildings became a cellar, a ‘palmento’
(a special building for treading, fermenting and pressing grapes), warehouses and the Bailiff’s
The first settlements can easily be identified by the type of materials and construction techniques used during the sixteenth century. The walls of the church and adjoining warehouse (now Reception and the fireplace room respectively) are characterized by the use of small cut pumice lava stone alternated with rows of terracotta tiles.
The front part of the current cellar belongs to the first settlements, presumably they were the kitchens and refectory, from which you could get to the neighbouring monks’ living quarters (today this group of rooms is called ‘the house’) by means of an inner staircase, now to be found on the outside, whose wooden architrave can still be seen. The former cowshed, in which the restaurant’s toilets are now located, was one of the early buildings.
Three more phases of construction can be seen. One took place during the eighteenth century when the planting of the vines began and a small ‘palmento’ behind the monks’ cells was built along with the first extension work on the ex refectory to turn it into a cellar.
The second phase dates back to the middle of the nineteenth century. The ‘palmento’
was built, further extension work on the cellar was carried out and the bailiff’s
living quarters were built.
The third and final phase of building work took place in 1997. The kitchens, the warehouses, and the cold stores were built whilst all the other buildings were completely renovated to make them more modern and meet the new standards of production without changing their appearance outside and keeping the traditional architecture intact.
For the whole of the seventeenth century, the estate’s farmlands, like all the surrounding area, were covered in dense woodland of chestnut and hazelnut trees and inhabited by the Benedictine friars, who built the first settlements.
The friary was not just dedicated to meditation and prayer, as often occurred it was above all a settlement that controlled the territory and the road that led from Riposto to the woodlands and the snows of Mount Etna.
The Fiamingo family from Acireale bought the entire feudal area towards the middle of the eighteenth century, marking the start of the terracing of the land and wine production.
The solid dry lava stone walls that terrace the immense land bear (Rasole)
witness to the flourishing wine production of the past, as do the large, old casks on display outside.
Around 1820, young Giuila Fiamingo married N.H. Perrotta from Lentini, giving him the lands and farm buildings, which today make up the Perrotta estate, as dowry property. These have been passed on from generation to generation to the current owner.
In the second half of the eighteenth century, the land was totally transformed into vineyards and the farm buildings were once and for all adapted to meet the needs of wine production and provide living quarters.
Wine production prospered until 1980. From then on it slowly began to decline until it came to a standstill in 1986.
In 1994 a process of complete renovation led the farm operations to be moved from wine production to that of fruit and tourism.
The architecture of the unusual farm buildings, the impressive presence of Mount Etna, and the blue line of the sea all lend a particular charm and atmosphere to the place.