TRADITION-ROOTED DISTILLATES

Xuto is a farming company committed to keeping and spreading the centuries-old tradition of the so-called spiritu re’ fascitrari, a distillate typical of the Hyblaean Mountains.

The manufacturing process of this typical product has been handed down for generations by the beekeepers of Sortino, also known as the Honey Town.

Every beekeeper has his own recipe which is kept jealously, so a large variety of homemade distillates is produced.

Xuto’s merit lies in the fact of having devised an ideal manufacturing process which ties quality honeys and other ingredients to the best tradition of Sicily’s master distillers.

This great passion has given rise to a limited production of two excellent distillates:

  • Hyblon, first distillate of Hyblaean honey
  • Anima, purest honey distillate

These exceptional products bear witness to the modernity of an old legend that has become a myth.

THE MYTH

According to an ancient myth, Xuthus, a brother of Aeolus, took refuge in Pantalica and, as a token of gratitude for the hospitality he received from the people of Sortino, he disclosed them the secret kept in the soul of the Hyblaean honey.

This legend accounts for the birth of the Spiritu re’ Fascitrari, the renowned honey distillate that the beekeepers of Sortino, a small town in the province of Syracuse, still produce in their homes. Not far from Sortino, also known as the Honey Town, lies Pantalica, the largest necropolis of Europe, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Locally, beekeepers are called fascitrari, a word derived from fascetri, i.e. the ferula sticks which were used to make the typical Sicilian beehives.

Every beekeeper makes his distillate according to his own secret recipe, keeping alive the legend and fascination of the divine myth.

THE HYBLAEANS MOUNTAINS

“They were known in the history and tradition of ancient Sicily as a remarkable region where the vegetation was more varied and luxuriant than elsewhere.

Whenever a poet needed a comparison for something sweet, tasty and fragrant, he could not find out anything better than the honey produced by the Hyblaean bees, that is the land where the thyme, the bee’s favourite flower, grows spontaneously and abundantly.

Apiculture was certainly important in the Hyblaean region even before the Greek invasion, especially in the area of Pantalica. According to the historians, from 1250 to 700 B.C. Pantalica was the capital of the Siculian state ruled by Hyblon, the mythical King of the people of the bees.”

That is what Chiesi wrote in 1882 about the Hyblaean honey.

THE GOLD OF SICILY

Italy is the sole country in the world that can boast over 60 different types of honey, many of which are exclusive due of their place of origin.

From the wealth of blooms of the well-known Mediterranean shrubland come the great Sicilian honeys, among them the Hyblaean thyme honey, which is the most celebrated and was even sung by Virgil and the ancient Greek poets.

Ancient history preserves the traditions and legends of Sicilian apiculture, such as the story of the “night wolves” related to the ancient fascitrari’s tiring practice of moving the bees from one place to another during the night. As reported by Monticelli (1845), Sicilian beekeepers “have inherited from their ancestors the useful system of transmigration, and they still practice it frequently with sagacity and prudence; they move the bees from the fields and take them to the citrus plantations, and then again to other fields, depending on whether these different places are poor or rich in flowers.”

This practice of moving the bees from place to place continues in our days, keeping alive the ancient fascination of the bees humming around where the flowers are most fragrant, the fruit most tasty and the crops most copious.

Contacts

    • Azienda Agricola Xuto S.r.l., Via P.E. Scamporlino, 4
      96010 SORTINO (SR) – P.IVA 01786070894