Femminello and his brothers
It is the first memory that Sicilians migrants connect to their homeland, the symbol par excellence of this island-continent: Lemon. A precious fruit that is a physical bond between Sicilian people and their island. No one who has ever travelled to Sicily can ever forget the unique, sweet and zesty perfume of a lemon grove in bloom.
A true symbiosis with the island is what the Russo family has kept alive for a whole century. In their fifty- hectare estate, the trees have kept on growing and bearing fruit fr over of 15 decades, some of them older than the company itself. The original rootstocks have grown strong and healthy shoots, a veritable paradise orchard lays before the eyes of those lucky enough to visit the Limonio estate of Partinico, where lemon, the undisputed protagonist, is represented by the Femminello variety with its abundance of fragrant white blossoms.
Femminello is a variety which can be harvested four times per year. In the first harvest the fruit is called Primo Fiore, it takes place between November and April; in the second, which happens in the month of April, the fruit is called Bianchetto, in May Maiolino. Finally, throughout the summer season, we have Verdello, the one that, being richer in essential oils is used in the production of liqueurs.
Limonio’s fruit crops, used in the making of liqueurs but also sold as fresh product, are not limited to lemons. The company also grows other citrus fruits such as mandarins and oranges (such as the Vanilla variety) but also black mulberries and laurel, not to mention another typical Sicilian fruit: prickly pears. 70% of Limonio’s liqueur production uses raw ingredients grown on the estate following a strict organic farming regime and environmentally sustainable practices. In addition, the mandarins Tardivo di Ciaculli, typical of Palermo, are a Slow Food presidium and as such are grown by the company on a very restricted scale, to ensure their quality.