From Lombardo’s premises in Marsala, a short avenue of squat palm trees opens out onto a fabulous view of the open blue sea and Marsala’s lighthouse. In fact the company’s history is intertwined with Marsala’s maritime heritage; the founder, Giuseppe Lombardo, being a shipbuilder who saw an opportunity to export wines on his ships in 1881. The family still runs the firm today. Ermalinda Lombardo is helped by her 75 year-old father whose office is stuffed with old memorabilia about the family firm and of course there isn’t a computer in sight. Their winemaker, Giuseppe Aripoli, makes a staggering array of Marsalas and sweet wines of all sorts of age and persuasion! Rambling warehouses contain endless wooden barrels containing Marsalas at various stages of maturation. Grapes are bought from the same growers each year, following the traditional pattern of Marsala houses not investing in vines. Their seaside location, they maintain, is crucial to the slow ageing of the wines.