It has a long history does Pelligrino having been founded in 1880. The historic buildings in the heart of Marsala are still there but enhanced by a swath of modern structures all geared up to sweep the tour groups through the production process, passing tanks and barrels on the way for a little sample here and there before ending up in the shop. The Pellegrino website has a gallery of historic photographs; I didn’t see them during the tour (perhaps I wasn’t paying proper attention) which seems a missed opportunity. The photo gallery below includes a few images that, I think, show a decent minimalist interpretation of the new buildings.
The tour offers more than just tanks and barrels – there was a room dedicated to the old carts of Sicily which we spotted elsewhere in this corner of Sicily. Pellegrino has five highly decorated carts in its collection, all built at the end of the 19th century.
There are no more cart driver in Sicily. Nevertheless this ancient mean of transport, especially the ones colourful and brightly painted, are and will always represent Sicily’s culture and folklore in the world.
They were built with different types of wood and in the past were mostly used during celebration’s days. Generally carved and painted with gaudy colours, they are marvels of handcraft art. The side and back panels mostly rectangular, can be compared to proper paintings, depicting elaborated pastoral scenes, mythological, religious and local history.
Often in addition to the main panels the same scenes are carved in the big wheel spokes The Sicilian cart tell to the world the most authentic and profound roots of Sicily.
Visiting Pellegrino Marsala
It is probably true to say that I enjoyed the buildings, barrels and tanks and just wandering about taking photos more than the actual guided tour and the 3 sample tasting but it is still a fun visit. Our tour was the 1 hour E8 tour, the most basic. Other options, which sound rather more fun include more wines matched with various food options. Not something I have to say we were lacking on the trip, was food. Pellegrino also do cooking courses although, as we were to discover, I think there maybe better options elsewhere in Sicily!
Pellegrino is located at Via del Fante, 39 91025 Marsala. The wine tour of Sicily organised by Esplora Tours.