Menfi is nostalgia for Africa without ever having been to Africa. You can distinguish it by the light, by a temperature of 40 C without a sticky sensation, by the very tall agaves, by the sea that has nothing in front of it. By Marilena Barbera who is sometimes a Pygmy and sometimes a Watusi. A tiny yet powerful winemaker, and by the wines that have a salty taste. The winery is a white cube that slopes gently towards the coast of Porto Palo and there is the most beautiful light ever seen in a tasting room. If she is not travelling around the world, you will find her climbing on the vats, untangling hoses, harvesting. “Would you like to taste the Zibibbo?” With her, things are done in so-called “French” style, zero formality and you go down into the barrel cellar with the thief to draw off the wine from the barrel. “It’s good Mari,” I say to her, “and you’ll see the Alicante” she replies, thinking of the wine that is coming. In the vineyard not far from the river Belice they are harvesting the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Her mother, Maria Rita, and Calogero the vintner, in a long-sleeved shirt, are bent over among the vines. Once or twice a year the river overflows and floods La Vota vineyard. The plants seem to hold their breath and, as the water flows away, the remaining silt deposits become nourishment.