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March 30, 2023

Prince of a guy

A solitary life and compelling wines in NW Sicily

Francesco Spadafora is one of the more compelling characters I have met this year – and not just because he shared with me one of the most exciting recipes I’ve discovered in a long time.

Spadafora, 67, lives on an isolated hilltop near Monreale, Sicily, helped by a winemaking team and his daughter, Enrica. Here he makes some delicious and elegantly restrained Grillo, Nero D’Avola and Syrah wines. (Yes, Syrah really achieves something in Sicily’s high hills!)

Francesco Spadafora

Francesco Spadafora in his vineyards near Monreale Sicily

The estate and label are Dei Principi di Spadafora – though the noble title of “Prince” belongs to an older cousin. His wines can be hard to find but are worth the effort.

Spadafora is a true nobleman, more attached to land and nature than to other currency. And he’s a great cook who tipped me to the amazing combination of blood orange reduction (slow cooked over two hours) with anchovies (I use Cantabrian in oil) over pasta. Mamma mi che buono! I add some other things as well.

For now check out my latest Robert Camuto Meets… column at