A story of One Thousand and One Nights: 2006 Donnafugata – Mille e Una Notte – Contessa Entellina DOC

If you are here because you excepted part 3 of my VinItaly report (go here for part 1 and part 2)then I have to disappoint you because today I want to take you on a journey of One Thousand and One Nights. The final installment of my VinItaly report will come within the next few days)

Mille e Una Notte

Don’t we all know the famous book One Thousand and One Nights, sometimes referred to as Arabian Nights, which were written during the Islamic Golden Age? Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and Aladdin are known throughout the world but do you know the story of Mille e Una Notte? Trust me, it is one of the very best.

Let me be clarify: Mille e Una Notte is one of Donnafugata‘s flagship wines and if you wonder what the wine has to do with One Thousand and One Nights then keep reading.


Over the years, Donnafugata got themselves a name as one of the best wineries Sicily has to offer. The range of quality wines is impressive and stretches from sweet passito like Ben Rye to traditional Nero d’Avola wines.

Mille e Una Notte LabelThrough multiple trade shows like SlowWine and VinItaly, I got to know their wines over the years – a few of them even became favorites. One aspect that I like about their wines are the gorgeous labels. Each label is designed to reflect the characteristics of the wine, which brings us back to One Thousand and One Nights. Why? The Italian title of the book is Mille e Una Notte and Donnafugata named the wine after it.

Let’s get a little bit technical. Mille e Una Notte is produced almost exclusively with Nero d’Avola (90%) but other local grapes are added. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels. The wine is classified as Contessa Entellina DOC. The first vintage of Mille e Una Notte was 1995.

Tasting notes Mille e Una Notte

2006 Donnafugata - Mille e Una Notte - Contessa Entellina DOCPrior to drinking the wine was decanted for roughly two hours.

In the glass, the wine had had a deep, intense ruby red color. A rich bouquet composed of chocolate, eucalyptus, blackcurrant and blackberry jam. The label listed ABV was 14%. In the mouth, Mille e Una Notte is smooth, dry and warm. Mellow, silky tannins. I tasted pistachio and almonds. Full-bodied and of good balance. Harmonious and well-structured. The aftertaste is persistently long.

4.5 / 5 stars      

Mille e Una Notte definitely had a great story to tell. I have tried younger vintages which did not impress me that much yet because they felt not ready. My tip: give younger vintages a few more years of time. One more thing is for sure: If Mille e Una Notte was an ancient tale, then there is no doubt that it would be featured in the book of One Thousand and One Nights!

Parting words

In the last two decades, Sicily managed to produce some stunning wines because more and more wineries focus on quality and not just quantity. Many years ago, Sicily was with Apulia Italy’s leading grape exporting region – often sweet, late-harvest grapes and sometimes of low quality which were used to blend poor wines in northern France and northern Italy. Some of the grapes were also used to manufacture raisins. Back then, Sicilian wines rarely saw oak and were drank young – often bottled in cheap bag & box containers.

Fortunately, that changed! Mille e Una Notte is one of many examples for that change. Have you tried the Mille e Una Notte and how do you like it? Which Sicilian wine is your favorite?

New blogs in Vino in Love’s rotating blog roll

I have updated the rotating blogroll. It now also includes the following blogs: JuliaBaileyWine, Yummy Chunklet, Eat With Namie, The Armchair Sommelier and From The Bartolini Kitchens. If you do not follow them yet then give them a visit. You will probably like them as much as I do.

Photo Credits Show

You might also like:

2008 Girolamo Russo – ‘a Rina – Etna Rosso DOC

2010 Donnafugata – Ben Rye – Passito di Pantelleria DOC

2007 Cusumano – Noà – IGT Sicilia


22 comments on “A story of One Thousand and One Nights: 2006 Donnafugata – Mille e Una Notte – Contessa Entellina DOC”

  1. Francesco Mauri Reply

    Very much agree with your statement about Sicilian wines. They used to be of terrible quality!
    Do you know the wines from Planeta? I like some of them at least as much as I like the ones from Donnafugata

    • vino in love Reply

      Thanks for visiting Vino in Love and thanks for your kind words!
      I have tried pretty every Planeta wine at least once, most of them I tasted on multiple occasions though. The Maroccoli is one of my favorite Planeta wines 🙂

  2. Sean P. Reply

    Very good post! You always provide us with so much backhround information 🙂
    The mile e una notte sounds great. Tonight when I’m home I’ll see if one of my local wine merchants has it in stock.

  3. hannah-theis hannah-theis Reply

    Ah Donnafugata is such a fantastic winery! A week ago, I ordered a case of Ben Rye after reading your review for it. Might as well see if they have this wine in stock, too.

  4. RiojaChianti RiojaChianti Reply

    always have prefered cosumano wines over the ones from donnafugata. i feel that they cost less and taste better.
    not a big fan of this nero d’avola at all. can’t believe that you like this wine.

    • vino in love Reply

      We all have different tastes so some of us will dislike Nero d’Avola while others might not like Cabernet and Malbec. Consumano makes good wines, too but in my opinion the Mille e Una Notte is great, too.

  5. foodwine88 Reply

    The church on that label looks gorgeous! Is it a real church or fiction? Great review, Julian. Usually I don’t like Nero d’Avola – the only exception is the Mille e Una Notte. Unfortunately I only tried it once so far.. but I really enjoyed back then! I think I had a 2003 vintage or so.

    • vino in love Reply

      The church is real indeed. It’s called Santa Margherita Belice. Quoting from the Donnafugata website: “Queen Maria Carolina, in flight from Naples, took refuge at Santa Margherita Belice in the palace shown on the label and it was the favorite residence of author Tomasi di Lampedusa”

  6. wineking3 wineking3 Reply

    Nero d’Avola is a hit and miss. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Glad to hear that you had a good experience with this one but I’d be careful about Nero d’Avola wines. Some of them taste are often too young and strong in alcohol.

    • vino in love Reply

      Thanks for stopping by. Well I think it depends what you buy. But of course you are right that there is still a decent amount of cheap bag & box Nero d’Avola available.

  7. Suzanne Reply

    I love reading your reviews, what a beautiful name for what sounds like an amazing wine. As always I learn so much and have another wine to add to my list. Thank you.

    • vino in love Reply

      The name is one of the reasons why I like the wine and even better that it’s a very good one, too! Unfortunately a bottle starts at 40€.
      Mille e Una Notte and Ben Rye passito (sweet wine) are my two favorites from Donnafugata. Let me know how you like either of them should you get a chance to try them 🙂

  8. drinkforlife Reply

    Gorgeous label and isn’t it rare that a winery puts so much effort into its wine names and labels?

  9. Francis Reply

    This is one of my all-time favorites. Hardly ever meet anybody who disliked the Mille e Una Note!

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