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Under the Sicilian Sun: A Wine Lover’s Guide to Sicilia DOC

Under the Sicilian Sun: A Wine Lover’s Guide to Sicilia DOC


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For the student of fine wine and food, there is no better place to learn than Italy. The Italians are extremely proud of their flawless ability to pair food and wine together.

Those who are seeking the Italian wine experience are often drawn to the likes of popular regions such as Tuscany and Piemonte. But, the more sophisticated wine connoisseurs are now turning their focus down south to Sicily. There they are finding a vast number of impressive wineries showcasing both indigenous varietals and new blends taking Italy — and the world — by storm.

Sicilians have been harvesting grapes and making wine since the 8th century BC; and today, the newly-launched Sicilia DOC — a consortium of wine producers developed to motivate people to think differently about Sicilian wine — is once again putting Sicily in the forefront of wine producing.

In the last 15 years, Sicily has been working tirelessly to revitalize indigenous grapes while crafting sophisticated red and white wines in its own backyard. Antonio Rallo, the President of Sicilia DOC and co-owner of Donnafugata Winery, heads up the initiative in an effort to create educational forums where Sicilian wines can shine. With now 73 wineries participating in the consortium, they are working together to showcase the regional indigenous grape varietals including grillo, nero d’Avola, inzolia, catarratto, frappato, grecanico, and perricone.

Not all wines in Sicily are designated by the Sicilia DOC. To receive the honor, the wine and winemaking process must guarantee specific practices respectful of the natural varieties of the wine. It all comes down to the pedo-climatic conditions under which the grapes are grown. To achieve this, the wine making process must strike the perfect balance between soil, climate and human intervention. They are strictly against the usage of any type of chemical fertilizers in the soil, according to the DOC Sicilia regulations, in order to produce the highest quality of wines.

The beauty of the Sicilian wines is how seamlessly they pair with meals. Grillo, for instance, can be compared to a pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc, — with very bright tasting notes that leaves a fresh flavor on one’s palette. As for pairing, think of warm weather dishes, including salads and raw or cooked seafood such as grilled swordfish with capers, as well as classic dishes from the region like caponata. A red wine, frappato, is also light enough to enjoy with such seafood dishes like oysters, among many others.

Next time you think Italian wines, think Sicilian. Take a look below for a list featuring Sicilian wineries and winemakers that are worth looking into.

Planeta Winery

Planeta Winery, established in 1995, has six vineyards throughout Sicily found in Menfi, Etna, Noto, Capo Milazzo, Vittoria and Sambuca Di Sicilia — totaling a staggering 363 hectares of vineyards. The family-owned and run operation often pays homage to the traditional wine varietals of the region producing the likes of frappato, nerello and nero d’Avola. In an effort to stay current with the market and a new way of producing grapes, planeta has also embraced growing new varietals such as chardonnay, merlot and syrah in traditional Sicilian soil — putting a new spin on such iconic wines. While Planeta — run today by Diego Planeta — is committed to producing the best tasting wines, it has also pledged to have an environmental impact through its initiatives of landscape conservation, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture.

Valle Dell’Acate

Located in the southeastern part of Sicily, Valle Dell’Acate produces over 400,000 bottles per year featuring Sicilia DOC wines such as the Il Frappato, Insolia and Zagra. The family-run winery, which is now in its sixth generation, understands and appreciates the tried tradition of winemaking. It places a great deal of importance on sustainability by implementing irrigation systems that maximize efficiency by avoiding wasting water.

Tasca D’Almerita

The Tasca family has been producing wine at the Regaleali estate that stretches over 500 hectares in the countryside of Sicily for eight generations. Today, Alberto Tasca is at the helm of the operation producing a numerous wines throughout its varied vineyard locations. At the Regaleali estate, the family produces such gems as the Riserva del Conte, Rosso del Conte, Nozze d’Oro and the Guarnaccio Perricone, among many others. While the winery plants indigenous grapes, it also produces many of the international variety such as chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon. Additionally, the estate prides itself on its vegetable garden and cooking school that attracts the most sophisticated food and wine lovers from around the world.

Donnafugata Winery

The winery’s name and essence is a nod to traditional Sicilian culture. To translate, “Donnafugata” means “woman in flight.” Given that the name in it of itself speaks volumes, so does its wines. Co-owner of the winery, Antonio Rallo is passionate about blending his wines along with music and art. With three vineyard locations in Marsala, Contessa Entellina, and the stunning island of Pantelleria, the winemakers learn to work with the natural agricultural setting of the island in the case of Pantelleria, as well as the other locations. While they are known for a myriad of varietals, many of their white wines such as the Prio — made from the indigenous catarratto grape — and their SurSur — showcasing their grillo grapes — truly shine.

Stemmari vineyards is at the forefront of the sustainable wine movement in Sicily. Through its parent company Mezzacorona, the winery provides 150 liters of fresh water per vine, while solar panels throughout the property are used to create energy. As for the properties, Stemmari estate vines are cultivated on two locations along the south coast of the island, one in Sambuca di Sicilia in the Agrigento province and the other in Acate in the province of Ragusa. They produce a variety of wines including four single-variety wines: nero d’Avola, pinot noir, pinot grigio, and native moscato — as well as two distinctive blends: Dalila (featuring the Sicilian white varietal Grillo and Viognier) and Cantodoro (with nero d’Avola and cabernet sauvignon).

Cusumano

Family-run Cusumano Winery has seven estates throughout Sicily that produce the grapes for its bountiful production. The winery today is run by brothers Diego and Alberto Cusumano, whose main goal is to express the diversity of the terroir of Sicily through their wines. The vineyard is most famous for its 700 Brut (that they produce 11,000 bottles per year) as well as its sweeter varietal, the Muscato dello Zucco. The winery also has a cellar in Partinico where they allow the wines to sit and mature. The architectural style of the property dates back to the 1800s that can only be described as “contemporary craft.”


An Introduction To The Wines Of Sicily [WITH MAP]

In the opening scene of the Godfather Part II (1974) we see a scrub brush desert-like landscape as a funeral march enters stage left. Somber music emanates from the procession as the funeral winds its way through piles of rocks, long fallen from yonder hill. It’s a stark, desolate landscape and for many, this is their first glimpse of Sicily.

Although it’s been said that this geography is constant across the island, it isn’t. There are actually many green patches in between (just check out the running slide show on this site), which is where the wine is made.

The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been occupied by many cultures throughout history, with each group bringing their own unique architecture and practices for either good or harm. These cultures also brought with them their native crops, in hopes of cultivating a piece of their homeland on the island. The Greeks brought olives and grapes. The Romans brought wheat (lot’s of it!). The Moors brought sugarcane, along with lemons and oranges, as well as pistachios, and implemented a new technique called irrigation. With all this influence, Sicily has become an agricultural phenomenon. And for the native grapes of this region, the resulting wine and the winemakers who coax them into existence, it is a veritable Dionysian given gift.

36 Gifts and Gadgets For Anyone Who Loves Drinks

We’re currently experiencing a boom of Sicilian wines on the American market, making this the ideal time to celebrate these wines from a land of hilly and mountainous terrain, excellent elevation and hillside vineyards with wonderful sun exposure. The wines of Sicily have a true personality all their own and are often quite affordable. So let’s get into it!

There are twenty three DOC zones on this island and one DOCG. That’s a lot for one volcanic outcropping. Many of those wines don’t make it over to the U.S., but the ones that do are a great example of what Sicilia has to offer. Here are the wines to get you started:

Nero D’Avola

Nero D’Avola, Sicily’s pride and joy, is the most widely planted red wine grape on the island. Thought to have been brought over from Calabria – the grape is also called Calabrese by some winemakers – wines from this grape can take on many forms depending on where the grape is grown. Nero D’Avola always has a nice, deep color and can have a significant tannin structure. Some of the wines can be vibrant with cherry and plum fruit while others (usually the more expensive examples) can lean more toward baker’s chocolate.

But for our purposes and wallets, the lively, youthful and less expensive examples are the crowd-pleasers. Ranging from around $8-$15 a bottle, these wines will pair well with any dish you serve, whether it be grilled meats, salami and cheese plates or even filleted fish dishes with a bit of cream sauce. It also pairs well with rooftop parties and is great with a slight chill for that picnic in the park. You can’t go wrong with this wine that’s often labeled under the Sicilia DOC, a zone that covers the entire island.

Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia–Oh My!

Catarratto is the most widely planted white wine grape in Sicily and the second most planted in all of Italy after Sangiovese. Along with Grillo and Inzolia, these three have traditionally been blending partners, and they’re the source of some of the best low priced white wine from Italy.

And while the blend is delicious, for about a decade now the winemakers of Sicily have been isolating Inzolia and Grillo and making single varietal wines from these grapes, letting them shine. Nowadays it’s not hard to find a bottle of clean aromatic Inzolia full of minerality and nutty, citrus and floral notes starting at around $8 and peaking in the $15 range. We are seeing more Grillo as well in the same price range with similar notes in addition to crisp green apple on the nose and palate. Grillo is a bit lighter than Inzolia, which has a nice soft weight. As for Catarratto, it is still often being used for blending in small amounts with the new Sicilian fave Chardonnay.

Just inland from the northeastern coast is towering Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano on the European continent. On the Eastern slope of this still smoldering giant are vineyards growing in dark, rich volcanic soil, making beautifully elegant wines from three prominent grapes, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and the amazing high-toned Carricante. The first two are often blended together with a minimum of 80% Nerello Mascalese and a maximum of 20% Nerello Cappuccio. The result is a wine often compared to the characteristics of great Burgundy: bright ruby red in color with almost perfect acidity wafting in with mashed berries and smoky notes.

For the whites of Etna, Carricante is the star, making up at least 60% of the blend but many winemakers use 100% of the grape. If a wine can be deep and soulful while still shining through with bracing acidity, this is the wine. The orange, lemon and grapefruit notes play well with the savory hues of Anise seed and honey, making this wine ideal with a meal. These wines are a bit pricer across the board than other whites from Sicily, ranging from $15-$30. Though they have a higher price tag, they are definitely worth the coin.

I’ll leave you here as you go off and enjoy the wonderful wines of Sicily. I’ll imagine you in the wine shop, walking toward the Italian section in slow motion, with the sweet strings of the Godfather Love Theme as your soundtrack, embraced by a soft vignette. Ci Vediamo a presto!


An Introduction To The Wines Of Sicily [WITH MAP]

In the opening scene of the Godfather Part II (1974) we see a scrub brush desert-like landscape as a funeral march enters stage left. Somber music emanates from the procession as the funeral winds its way through piles of rocks, long fallen from yonder hill. It’s a stark, desolate landscape and for many, this is their first glimpse of Sicily.

Although it’s been said that this geography is constant across the island, it isn’t. There are actually many green patches in between (just check out the running slide show on this site), which is where the wine is made.

The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been occupied by many cultures throughout history, with each group bringing their own unique architecture and practices for either good or harm. These cultures also brought with them their native crops, in hopes of cultivating a piece of their homeland on the island. The Greeks brought olives and grapes. The Romans brought wheat (lot’s of it!). The Moors brought sugarcane, along with lemons and oranges, as well as pistachios, and implemented a new technique called irrigation. With all this influence, Sicily has become an agricultural phenomenon. And for the native grapes of this region, the resulting wine and the winemakers who coax them into existence, it is a veritable Dionysian given gift.

36 Gifts and Gadgets For Anyone Who Loves Drinks

We’re currently experiencing a boom of Sicilian wines on the American market, making this the ideal time to celebrate these wines from a land of hilly and mountainous terrain, excellent elevation and hillside vineyards with wonderful sun exposure. The wines of Sicily have a true personality all their own and are often quite affordable. So let’s get into it!

There are twenty three DOC zones on this island and one DOCG. That’s a lot for one volcanic outcropping. Many of those wines don’t make it over to the U.S., but the ones that do are a great example of what Sicilia has to offer. Here are the wines to get you started:

Nero D’Avola

Nero D’Avola, Sicily’s pride and joy, is the most widely planted red wine grape on the island. Thought to have been brought over from Calabria – the grape is also called Calabrese by some winemakers – wines from this grape can take on many forms depending on where the grape is grown. Nero D’Avola always has a nice, deep color and can have a significant tannin structure. Some of the wines can be vibrant with cherry and plum fruit while others (usually the more expensive examples) can lean more toward baker’s chocolate.

But for our purposes and wallets, the lively, youthful and less expensive examples are the crowd-pleasers. Ranging from around $8-$15 a bottle, these wines will pair well with any dish you serve, whether it be grilled meats, salami and cheese plates or even filleted fish dishes with a bit of cream sauce. It also pairs well with rooftop parties and is great with a slight chill for that picnic in the park. You can’t go wrong with this wine that’s often labeled under the Sicilia DOC, a zone that covers the entire island.

Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia–Oh My!

Catarratto is the most widely planted white wine grape in Sicily and the second most planted in all of Italy after Sangiovese. Along with Grillo and Inzolia, these three have traditionally been blending partners, and they’re the source of some of the best low priced white wine from Italy.

And while the blend is delicious, for about a decade now the winemakers of Sicily have been isolating Inzolia and Grillo and making single varietal wines from these grapes, letting them shine. Nowadays it’s not hard to find a bottle of clean aromatic Inzolia full of minerality and nutty, citrus and floral notes starting at around $8 and peaking in the $15 range. We are seeing more Grillo as well in the same price range with similar notes in addition to crisp green apple on the nose and palate. Grillo is a bit lighter than Inzolia, which has a nice soft weight. As for Catarratto, it is still often being used for blending in small amounts with the new Sicilian fave Chardonnay.

Just inland from the northeastern coast is towering Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano on the European continent. On the Eastern slope of this still smoldering giant are vineyards growing in dark, rich volcanic soil, making beautifully elegant wines from three prominent grapes, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and the amazing high-toned Carricante. The first two are often blended together with a minimum of 80% Nerello Mascalese and a maximum of 20% Nerello Cappuccio. The result is a wine often compared to the characteristics of great Burgundy: bright ruby red in color with almost perfect acidity wafting in with mashed berries and smoky notes.

For the whites of Etna, Carricante is the star, making up at least 60% of the blend but many winemakers use 100% of the grape. If a wine can be deep and soulful while still shining through with bracing acidity, this is the wine. The orange, lemon and grapefruit notes play well with the savory hues of Anise seed and honey, making this wine ideal with a meal. These wines are a bit pricer across the board than other whites from Sicily, ranging from $15-$30. Though they have a higher price tag, they are definitely worth the coin.

I’ll leave you here as you go off and enjoy the wonderful wines of Sicily. I’ll imagine you in the wine shop, walking toward the Italian section in slow motion, with the sweet strings of the Godfather Love Theme as your soundtrack, embraced by a soft vignette. Ci Vediamo a presto!


An Introduction To The Wines Of Sicily [WITH MAP]

In the opening scene of the Godfather Part II (1974) we see a scrub brush desert-like landscape as a funeral march enters stage left. Somber music emanates from the procession as the funeral winds its way through piles of rocks, long fallen from yonder hill. It’s a stark, desolate landscape and for many, this is their first glimpse of Sicily.

Although it’s been said that this geography is constant across the island, it isn’t. There are actually many green patches in between (just check out the running slide show on this site), which is where the wine is made.

The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been occupied by many cultures throughout history, with each group bringing their own unique architecture and practices for either good or harm. These cultures also brought with them their native crops, in hopes of cultivating a piece of their homeland on the island. The Greeks brought olives and grapes. The Romans brought wheat (lot’s of it!). The Moors brought sugarcane, along with lemons and oranges, as well as pistachios, and implemented a new technique called irrigation. With all this influence, Sicily has become an agricultural phenomenon. And for the native grapes of this region, the resulting wine and the winemakers who coax them into existence, it is a veritable Dionysian given gift.

36 Gifts and Gadgets For Anyone Who Loves Drinks

We’re currently experiencing a boom of Sicilian wines on the American market, making this the ideal time to celebrate these wines from a land of hilly and mountainous terrain, excellent elevation and hillside vineyards with wonderful sun exposure. The wines of Sicily have a true personality all their own and are often quite affordable. So let’s get into it!

There are twenty three DOC zones on this island and one DOCG. That’s a lot for one volcanic outcropping. Many of those wines don’t make it over to the U.S., but the ones that do are a great example of what Sicilia has to offer. Here are the wines to get you started:

Nero D’Avola

Nero D’Avola, Sicily’s pride and joy, is the most widely planted red wine grape on the island. Thought to have been brought over from Calabria – the grape is also called Calabrese by some winemakers – wines from this grape can take on many forms depending on where the grape is grown. Nero D’Avola always has a nice, deep color and can have a significant tannin structure. Some of the wines can be vibrant with cherry and plum fruit while others (usually the more expensive examples) can lean more toward baker’s chocolate.

But for our purposes and wallets, the lively, youthful and less expensive examples are the crowd-pleasers. Ranging from around $8-$15 a bottle, these wines will pair well with any dish you serve, whether it be grilled meats, salami and cheese plates or even filleted fish dishes with a bit of cream sauce. It also pairs well with rooftop parties and is great with a slight chill for that picnic in the park. You can’t go wrong with this wine that’s often labeled under the Sicilia DOC, a zone that covers the entire island.

Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia–Oh My!

Catarratto is the most widely planted white wine grape in Sicily and the second most planted in all of Italy after Sangiovese. Along with Grillo and Inzolia, these three have traditionally been blending partners, and they’re the source of some of the best low priced white wine from Italy.

And while the blend is delicious, for about a decade now the winemakers of Sicily have been isolating Inzolia and Grillo and making single varietal wines from these grapes, letting them shine. Nowadays it’s not hard to find a bottle of clean aromatic Inzolia full of minerality and nutty, citrus and floral notes starting at around $8 and peaking in the $15 range. We are seeing more Grillo as well in the same price range with similar notes in addition to crisp green apple on the nose and palate. Grillo is a bit lighter than Inzolia, which has a nice soft weight. As for Catarratto, it is still often being used for blending in small amounts with the new Sicilian fave Chardonnay.

Just inland from the northeastern coast is towering Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano on the European continent. On the Eastern slope of this still smoldering giant are vineyards growing in dark, rich volcanic soil, making beautifully elegant wines from three prominent grapes, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and the amazing high-toned Carricante. The first two are often blended together with a minimum of 80% Nerello Mascalese and a maximum of 20% Nerello Cappuccio. The result is a wine often compared to the characteristics of great Burgundy: bright ruby red in color with almost perfect acidity wafting in with mashed berries and smoky notes.

For the whites of Etna, Carricante is the star, making up at least 60% of the blend but many winemakers use 100% of the grape. If a wine can be deep and soulful while still shining through with bracing acidity, this is the wine. The orange, lemon and grapefruit notes play well with the savory hues of Anise seed and honey, making this wine ideal with a meal. These wines are a bit pricer across the board than other whites from Sicily, ranging from $15-$30. Though they have a higher price tag, they are definitely worth the coin.

I’ll leave you here as you go off and enjoy the wonderful wines of Sicily. I’ll imagine you in the wine shop, walking toward the Italian section in slow motion, with the sweet strings of the Godfather Love Theme as your soundtrack, embraced by a soft vignette. Ci Vediamo a presto!


An Introduction To The Wines Of Sicily [WITH MAP]

In the opening scene of the Godfather Part II (1974) we see a scrub brush desert-like landscape as a funeral march enters stage left. Somber music emanates from the procession as the funeral winds its way through piles of rocks, long fallen from yonder hill. It’s a stark, desolate landscape and for many, this is their first glimpse of Sicily.

Although it’s been said that this geography is constant across the island, it isn’t. There are actually many green patches in between (just check out the running slide show on this site), which is where the wine is made.

The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been occupied by many cultures throughout history, with each group bringing their own unique architecture and practices for either good or harm. These cultures also brought with them their native crops, in hopes of cultivating a piece of their homeland on the island. The Greeks brought olives and grapes. The Romans brought wheat (lot’s of it!). The Moors brought sugarcane, along with lemons and oranges, as well as pistachios, and implemented a new technique called irrigation. With all this influence, Sicily has become an agricultural phenomenon. And for the native grapes of this region, the resulting wine and the winemakers who coax them into existence, it is a veritable Dionysian given gift.

36 Gifts and Gadgets For Anyone Who Loves Drinks

We’re currently experiencing a boom of Sicilian wines on the American market, making this the ideal time to celebrate these wines from a land of hilly and mountainous terrain, excellent elevation and hillside vineyards with wonderful sun exposure. The wines of Sicily have a true personality all their own and are often quite affordable. So let’s get into it!

There are twenty three DOC zones on this island and one DOCG. That’s a lot for one volcanic outcropping. Many of those wines don’t make it over to the U.S., but the ones that do are a great example of what Sicilia has to offer. Here are the wines to get you started:

Nero D’Avola

Nero D’Avola, Sicily’s pride and joy, is the most widely planted red wine grape on the island. Thought to have been brought over from Calabria – the grape is also called Calabrese by some winemakers – wines from this grape can take on many forms depending on where the grape is grown. Nero D’Avola always has a nice, deep color and can have a significant tannin structure. Some of the wines can be vibrant with cherry and plum fruit while others (usually the more expensive examples) can lean more toward baker’s chocolate.

But for our purposes and wallets, the lively, youthful and less expensive examples are the crowd-pleasers. Ranging from around $8-$15 a bottle, these wines will pair well with any dish you serve, whether it be grilled meats, salami and cheese plates or even filleted fish dishes with a bit of cream sauce. It also pairs well with rooftop parties and is great with a slight chill for that picnic in the park. You can’t go wrong with this wine that’s often labeled under the Sicilia DOC, a zone that covers the entire island.

Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia–Oh My!

Catarratto is the most widely planted white wine grape in Sicily and the second most planted in all of Italy after Sangiovese. Along with Grillo and Inzolia, these three have traditionally been blending partners, and they’re the source of some of the best low priced white wine from Italy.

And while the blend is delicious, for about a decade now the winemakers of Sicily have been isolating Inzolia and Grillo and making single varietal wines from these grapes, letting them shine. Nowadays it’s not hard to find a bottle of clean aromatic Inzolia full of minerality and nutty, citrus and floral notes starting at around $8 and peaking in the $15 range. We are seeing more Grillo as well in the same price range with similar notes in addition to crisp green apple on the nose and palate. Grillo is a bit lighter than Inzolia, which has a nice soft weight. As for Catarratto, it is still often being used for blending in small amounts with the new Sicilian fave Chardonnay.

Just inland from the northeastern coast is towering Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano on the European continent. On the Eastern slope of this still smoldering giant are vineyards growing in dark, rich volcanic soil, making beautifully elegant wines from three prominent grapes, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and the amazing high-toned Carricante. The first two are often blended together with a minimum of 80% Nerello Mascalese and a maximum of 20% Nerello Cappuccio. The result is a wine often compared to the characteristics of great Burgundy: bright ruby red in color with almost perfect acidity wafting in with mashed berries and smoky notes.

For the whites of Etna, Carricante is the star, making up at least 60% of the blend but many winemakers use 100% of the grape. If a wine can be deep and soulful while still shining through with bracing acidity, this is the wine. The orange, lemon and grapefruit notes play well with the savory hues of Anise seed and honey, making this wine ideal with a meal. These wines are a bit pricer across the board than other whites from Sicily, ranging from $15-$30. Though they have a higher price tag, they are definitely worth the coin.

I’ll leave you here as you go off and enjoy the wonderful wines of Sicily. I’ll imagine you in the wine shop, walking toward the Italian section in slow motion, with the sweet strings of the Godfather Love Theme as your soundtrack, embraced by a soft vignette. Ci Vediamo a presto!


An Introduction To The Wines Of Sicily [WITH MAP]

In the opening scene of the Godfather Part II (1974) we see a scrub brush desert-like landscape as a funeral march enters stage left. Somber music emanates from the procession as the funeral winds its way through piles of rocks, long fallen from yonder hill. It’s a stark, desolate landscape and for many, this is their first glimpse of Sicily.

Although it’s been said that this geography is constant across the island, it isn’t. There are actually many green patches in between (just check out the running slide show on this site), which is where the wine is made.

The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been occupied by many cultures throughout history, with each group bringing their own unique architecture and practices for either good or harm. These cultures also brought with them their native crops, in hopes of cultivating a piece of their homeland on the island. The Greeks brought olives and grapes. The Romans brought wheat (lot’s of it!). The Moors brought sugarcane, along with lemons and oranges, as well as pistachios, and implemented a new technique called irrigation. With all this influence, Sicily has become an agricultural phenomenon. And for the native grapes of this region, the resulting wine and the winemakers who coax them into existence, it is a veritable Dionysian given gift.

36 Gifts and Gadgets For Anyone Who Loves Drinks

We’re currently experiencing a boom of Sicilian wines on the American market, making this the ideal time to celebrate these wines from a land of hilly and mountainous terrain, excellent elevation and hillside vineyards with wonderful sun exposure. The wines of Sicily have a true personality all their own and are often quite affordable. So let’s get into it!

There are twenty three DOC zones on this island and one DOCG. That’s a lot for one volcanic outcropping. Many of those wines don’t make it over to the U.S., but the ones that do are a great example of what Sicilia has to offer. Here are the wines to get you started:

Nero D’Avola

Nero D’Avola, Sicily’s pride and joy, is the most widely planted red wine grape on the island. Thought to have been brought over from Calabria – the grape is also called Calabrese by some winemakers – wines from this grape can take on many forms depending on where the grape is grown. Nero D’Avola always has a nice, deep color and can have a significant tannin structure. Some of the wines can be vibrant with cherry and plum fruit while others (usually the more expensive examples) can lean more toward baker’s chocolate.

But for our purposes and wallets, the lively, youthful and less expensive examples are the crowd-pleasers. Ranging from around $8-$15 a bottle, these wines will pair well with any dish you serve, whether it be grilled meats, salami and cheese plates or even filleted fish dishes with a bit of cream sauce. It also pairs well with rooftop parties and is great with a slight chill for that picnic in the park. You can’t go wrong with this wine that’s often labeled under the Sicilia DOC, a zone that covers the entire island.

Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia–Oh My!

Catarratto is the most widely planted white wine grape in Sicily and the second most planted in all of Italy after Sangiovese. Along with Grillo and Inzolia, these three have traditionally been blending partners, and they’re the source of some of the best low priced white wine from Italy.

And while the blend is delicious, for about a decade now the winemakers of Sicily have been isolating Inzolia and Grillo and making single varietal wines from these grapes, letting them shine. Nowadays it’s not hard to find a bottle of clean aromatic Inzolia full of minerality and nutty, citrus and floral notes starting at around $8 and peaking in the $15 range. We are seeing more Grillo as well in the same price range with similar notes in addition to crisp green apple on the nose and palate. Grillo is a bit lighter than Inzolia, which has a nice soft weight. As for Catarratto, it is still often being used for blending in small amounts with the new Sicilian fave Chardonnay.

Just inland from the northeastern coast is towering Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano on the European continent. On the Eastern slope of this still smoldering giant are vineyards growing in dark, rich volcanic soil, making beautifully elegant wines from three prominent grapes, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and the amazing high-toned Carricante. The first two are often blended together with a minimum of 80% Nerello Mascalese and a maximum of 20% Nerello Cappuccio. The result is a wine often compared to the characteristics of great Burgundy: bright ruby red in color with almost perfect acidity wafting in with mashed berries and smoky notes.

For the whites of Etna, Carricante is the star, making up at least 60% of the blend but many winemakers use 100% of the grape. If a wine can be deep and soulful while still shining through with bracing acidity, this is the wine. The orange, lemon and grapefruit notes play well with the savory hues of Anise seed and honey, making this wine ideal with a meal. These wines are a bit pricer across the board than other whites from Sicily, ranging from $15-$30. Though they have a higher price tag, they are definitely worth the coin.

I’ll leave you here as you go off and enjoy the wonderful wines of Sicily. I’ll imagine you in the wine shop, walking toward the Italian section in slow motion, with the sweet strings of the Godfather Love Theme as your soundtrack, embraced by a soft vignette. Ci Vediamo a presto!


An Introduction To The Wines Of Sicily [WITH MAP]

In the opening scene of the Godfather Part II (1974) we see a scrub brush desert-like landscape as a funeral march enters stage left. Somber music emanates from the procession as the funeral winds its way through piles of rocks, long fallen from yonder hill. It’s a stark, desolate landscape and for many, this is their first glimpse of Sicily.

Although it’s been said that this geography is constant across the island, it isn’t. There are actually many green patches in between (just check out the running slide show on this site), which is where the wine is made.

The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been occupied by many cultures throughout history, with each group bringing their own unique architecture and practices for either good or harm. These cultures also brought with them their native crops, in hopes of cultivating a piece of their homeland on the island. The Greeks brought olives and grapes. The Romans brought wheat (lot’s of it!). The Moors brought sugarcane, along with lemons and oranges, as well as pistachios, and implemented a new technique called irrigation. With all this influence, Sicily has become an agricultural phenomenon. And for the native grapes of this region, the resulting wine and the winemakers who coax them into existence, it is a veritable Dionysian given gift.

36 Gifts and Gadgets For Anyone Who Loves Drinks

We’re currently experiencing a boom of Sicilian wines on the American market, making this the ideal time to celebrate these wines from a land of hilly and mountainous terrain, excellent elevation and hillside vineyards with wonderful sun exposure. The wines of Sicily have a true personality all their own and are often quite affordable. So let’s get into it!

There are twenty three DOC zones on this island and one DOCG. That’s a lot for one volcanic outcropping. Many of those wines don’t make it over to the U.S., but the ones that do are a great example of what Sicilia has to offer. Here are the wines to get you started:

Nero D’Avola

Nero D’Avola, Sicily’s pride and joy, is the most widely planted red wine grape on the island. Thought to have been brought over from Calabria – the grape is also called Calabrese by some winemakers – wines from this grape can take on many forms depending on where the grape is grown. Nero D’Avola always has a nice, deep color and can have a significant tannin structure. Some of the wines can be vibrant with cherry and plum fruit while others (usually the more expensive examples) can lean more toward baker’s chocolate.

But for our purposes and wallets, the lively, youthful and less expensive examples are the crowd-pleasers. Ranging from around $8-$15 a bottle, these wines will pair well with any dish you serve, whether it be grilled meats, salami and cheese plates or even filleted fish dishes with a bit of cream sauce. It also pairs well with rooftop parties and is great with a slight chill for that picnic in the park. You can’t go wrong with this wine that’s often labeled under the Sicilia DOC, a zone that covers the entire island.

Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia–Oh My!

Catarratto is the most widely planted white wine grape in Sicily and the second most planted in all of Italy after Sangiovese. Along with Grillo and Inzolia, these three have traditionally been blending partners, and they’re the source of some of the best low priced white wine from Italy.

And while the blend is delicious, for about a decade now the winemakers of Sicily have been isolating Inzolia and Grillo and making single varietal wines from these grapes, letting them shine. Nowadays it’s not hard to find a bottle of clean aromatic Inzolia full of minerality and nutty, citrus and floral notes starting at around $8 and peaking in the $15 range. We are seeing more Grillo as well in the same price range with similar notes in addition to crisp green apple on the nose and palate. Grillo is a bit lighter than Inzolia, which has a nice soft weight. As for Catarratto, it is still often being used for blending in small amounts with the new Sicilian fave Chardonnay.

Just inland from the northeastern coast is towering Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano on the European continent. On the Eastern slope of this still smoldering giant are vineyards growing in dark, rich volcanic soil, making beautifully elegant wines from three prominent grapes, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and the amazing high-toned Carricante. The first two are often blended together with a minimum of 80% Nerello Mascalese and a maximum of 20% Nerello Cappuccio. The result is a wine often compared to the characteristics of great Burgundy: bright ruby red in color with almost perfect acidity wafting in with mashed berries and smoky notes.

For the whites of Etna, Carricante is the star, making up at least 60% of the blend but many winemakers use 100% of the grape. If a wine can be deep and soulful while still shining through with bracing acidity, this is the wine. The orange, lemon and grapefruit notes play well with the savory hues of Anise seed and honey, making this wine ideal with a meal. These wines are a bit pricer across the board than other whites from Sicily, ranging from $15-$30. Though they have a higher price tag, they are definitely worth the coin.

I’ll leave you here as you go off and enjoy the wonderful wines of Sicily. I’ll imagine you in the wine shop, walking toward the Italian section in slow motion, with the sweet strings of the Godfather Love Theme as your soundtrack, embraced by a soft vignette. Ci Vediamo a presto!


An Introduction To The Wines Of Sicily [WITH MAP]

In the opening scene of the Godfather Part II (1974) we see a scrub brush desert-like landscape as a funeral march enters stage left. Somber music emanates from the procession as the funeral winds its way through piles of rocks, long fallen from yonder hill. It’s a stark, desolate landscape and for many, this is their first glimpse of Sicily.

Although it’s been said that this geography is constant across the island, it isn’t. There are actually many green patches in between (just check out the running slide show on this site), which is where the wine is made.

The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been occupied by many cultures throughout history, with each group bringing their own unique architecture and practices for either good or harm. These cultures also brought with them their native crops, in hopes of cultivating a piece of their homeland on the island. The Greeks brought olives and grapes. The Romans brought wheat (lot’s of it!). The Moors brought sugarcane, along with lemons and oranges, as well as pistachios, and implemented a new technique called irrigation. With all this influence, Sicily has become an agricultural phenomenon. And for the native grapes of this region, the resulting wine and the winemakers who coax them into existence, it is a veritable Dionysian given gift.

36 Gifts and Gadgets For Anyone Who Loves Drinks

We’re currently experiencing a boom of Sicilian wines on the American market, making this the ideal time to celebrate these wines from a land of hilly and mountainous terrain, excellent elevation and hillside vineyards with wonderful sun exposure. The wines of Sicily have a true personality all their own and are often quite affordable. So let’s get into it!

There are twenty three DOC zones on this island and one DOCG. That’s a lot for one volcanic outcropping. Many of those wines don’t make it over to the U.S., but the ones that do are a great example of what Sicilia has to offer. Here are the wines to get you started:

Nero D’Avola

Nero D’Avola, Sicily’s pride and joy, is the most widely planted red wine grape on the island. Thought to have been brought over from Calabria – the grape is also called Calabrese by some winemakers – wines from this grape can take on many forms depending on where the grape is grown. Nero D’Avola always has a nice, deep color and can have a significant tannin structure. Some of the wines can be vibrant with cherry and plum fruit while others (usually the more expensive examples) can lean more toward baker’s chocolate.

But for our purposes and wallets, the lively, youthful and less expensive examples are the crowd-pleasers. Ranging from around $8-$15 a bottle, these wines will pair well with any dish you serve, whether it be grilled meats, salami and cheese plates or even filleted fish dishes with a bit of cream sauce. It also pairs well with rooftop parties and is great with a slight chill for that picnic in the park. You can’t go wrong with this wine that’s often labeled under the Sicilia DOC, a zone that covers the entire island.

Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia–Oh My!

Catarratto is the most widely planted white wine grape in Sicily and the second most planted in all of Italy after Sangiovese. Along with Grillo and Inzolia, these three have traditionally been blending partners, and they’re the source of some of the best low priced white wine from Italy.

And while the blend is delicious, for about a decade now the winemakers of Sicily have been isolating Inzolia and Grillo and making single varietal wines from these grapes, letting them shine. Nowadays it’s not hard to find a bottle of clean aromatic Inzolia full of minerality and nutty, citrus and floral notes starting at around $8 and peaking in the $15 range. We are seeing more Grillo as well in the same price range with similar notes in addition to crisp green apple on the nose and palate. Grillo is a bit lighter than Inzolia, which has a nice soft weight. As for Catarratto, it is still often being used for blending in small amounts with the new Sicilian fave Chardonnay.

Just inland from the northeastern coast is towering Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano on the European continent. On the Eastern slope of this still smoldering giant are vineyards growing in dark, rich volcanic soil, making beautifully elegant wines from three prominent grapes, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and the amazing high-toned Carricante. The first two are often blended together with a minimum of 80% Nerello Mascalese and a maximum of 20% Nerello Cappuccio. The result is a wine often compared to the characteristics of great Burgundy: bright ruby red in color with almost perfect acidity wafting in with mashed berries and smoky notes.

For the whites of Etna, Carricante is the star, making up at least 60% of the blend but many winemakers use 100% of the grape. If a wine can be deep and soulful while still shining through with bracing acidity, this is the wine. The orange, lemon and grapefruit notes play well with the savory hues of Anise seed and honey, making this wine ideal with a meal. These wines are a bit pricer across the board than other whites from Sicily, ranging from $15-$30. Though they have a higher price tag, they are definitely worth the coin.

I’ll leave you here as you go off and enjoy the wonderful wines of Sicily. I’ll imagine you in the wine shop, walking toward the Italian section in slow motion, with the sweet strings of the Godfather Love Theme as your soundtrack, embraced by a soft vignette. Ci Vediamo a presto!


An Introduction To The Wines Of Sicily [WITH MAP]

In the opening scene of the Godfather Part II (1974) we see a scrub brush desert-like landscape as a funeral march enters stage left. Somber music emanates from the procession as the funeral winds its way through piles of rocks, long fallen from yonder hill. It’s a stark, desolate landscape and for many, this is their first glimpse of Sicily.

Although it’s been said that this geography is constant across the island, it isn’t. There are actually many green patches in between (just check out the running slide show on this site), which is where the wine is made.

The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been occupied by many cultures throughout history, with each group bringing their own unique architecture and practices for either good or harm. These cultures also brought with them their native crops, in hopes of cultivating a piece of their homeland on the island. The Greeks brought olives and grapes. The Romans brought wheat (lot’s of it!). The Moors brought sugarcane, along with lemons and oranges, as well as pistachios, and implemented a new technique called irrigation. With all this influence, Sicily has become an agricultural phenomenon. And for the native grapes of this region, the resulting wine and the winemakers who coax them into existence, it is a veritable Dionysian given gift.

36 Gifts and Gadgets For Anyone Who Loves Drinks

We’re currently experiencing a boom of Sicilian wines on the American market, making this the ideal time to celebrate these wines from a land of hilly and mountainous terrain, excellent elevation and hillside vineyards with wonderful sun exposure. The wines of Sicily have a true personality all their own and are often quite affordable. So let’s get into it!

There are twenty three DOC zones on this island and one DOCG. That’s a lot for one volcanic outcropping. Many of those wines don’t make it over to the U.S., but the ones that do are a great example of what Sicilia has to offer. Here are the wines to get you started:

Nero D’Avola

Nero D’Avola, Sicily’s pride and joy, is the most widely planted red wine grape on the island. Thought to have been brought over from Calabria – the grape is also called Calabrese by some winemakers – wines from this grape can take on many forms depending on where the grape is grown. Nero D’Avola always has a nice, deep color and can have a significant tannin structure. Some of the wines can be vibrant with cherry and plum fruit while others (usually the more expensive examples) can lean more toward baker’s chocolate.

But for our purposes and wallets, the lively, youthful and less expensive examples are the crowd-pleasers. Ranging from around $8-$15 a bottle, these wines will pair well with any dish you serve, whether it be grilled meats, salami and cheese plates or even filleted fish dishes with a bit of cream sauce. It also pairs well with rooftop parties and is great with a slight chill for that picnic in the park. You can’t go wrong with this wine that’s often labeled under the Sicilia DOC, a zone that covers the entire island.

Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia–Oh My!

Catarratto is the most widely planted white wine grape in Sicily and the second most planted in all of Italy after Sangiovese. Along with Grillo and Inzolia, these three have traditionally been blending partners, and they’re the source of some of the best low priced white wine from Italy.

And while the blend is delicious, for about a decade now the winemakers of Sicily have been isolating Inzolia and Grillo and making single varietal wines from these grapes, letting them shine. Nowadays it’s not hard to find a bottle of clean aromatic Inzolia full of minerality and nutty, citrus and floral notes starting at around $8 and peaking in the $15 range. We are seeing more Grillo as well in the same price range with similar notes in addition to crisp green apple on the nose and palate. Grillo is a bit lighter than Inzolia, which has a nice soft weight. As for Catarratto, it is still often being used for blending in small amounts with the new Sicilian fave Chardonnay.

Just inland from the northeastern coast is towering Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano on the European continent. On the Eastern slope of this still smoldering giant are vineyards growing in dark, rich volcanic soil, making beautifully elegant wines from three prominent grapes, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and the amazing high-toned Carricante. The first two are often blended together with a minimum of 80% Nerello Mascalese and a maximum of 20% Nerello Cappuccio. The result is a wine often compared to the characteristics of great Burgundy: bright ruby red in color with almost perfect acidity wafting in with mashed berries and smoky notes.

For the whites of Etna, Carricante is the star, making up at least 60% of the blend but many winemakers use 100% of the grape. If a wine can be deep and soulful while still shining through with bracing acidity, this is the wine. The orange, lemon and grapefruit notes play well with the savory hues of Anise seed and honey, making this wine ideal with a meal. These wines are a bit pricer across the board than other whites from Sicily, ranging from $15-$30. Though they have a higher price tag, they are definitely worth the coin.

I’ll leave you here as you go off and enjoy the wonderful wines of Sicily. I’ll imagine you in the wine shop, walking toward the Italian section in slow motion, with the sweet strings of the Godfather Love Theme as your soundtrack, embraced by a soft vignette. Ci Vediamo a presto!


An Introduction To The Wines Of Sicily [WITH MAP]

In the opening scene of the Godfather Part II (1974) we see a scrub brush desert-like landscape as a funeral march enters stage left. Somber music emanates from the procession as the funeral winds its way through piles of rocks, long fallen from yonder hill. It’s a stark, desolate landscape and for many, this is their first glimpse of Sicily.

Although it’s been said that this geography is constant across the island, it isn’t. There are actually many green patches in between (just check out the running slide show on this site), which is where the wine is made.

The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been occupied by many cultures throughout history, with each group bringing their own unique architecture and practices for either good or harm. These cultures also brought with them their native crops, in hopes of cultivating a piece of their homeland on the island. The Greeks brought olives and grapes. The Romans brought wheat (lot’s of it!). The Moors brought sugarcane, along with lemons and oranges, as well as pistachios, and implemented a new technique called irrigation. With all this influence, Sicily has become an agricultural phenomenon. And for the native grapes of this region, the resulting wine and the winemakers who coax them into existence, it is a veritable Dionysian given gift.

36 Gifts and Gadgets For Anyone Who Loves Drinks

We’re currently experiencing a boom of Sicilian wines on the American market, making this the ideal time to celebrate these wines from a land of hilly and mountainous terrain, excellent elevation and hillside vineyards with wonderful sun exposure. The wines of Sicily have a true personality all their own and are often quite affordable. So let’s get into it!

There are twenty three DOC zones on this island and one DOCG. That’s a lot for one volcanic outcropping. Many of those wines don’t make it over to the U.S., but the ones that do are a great example of what Sicilia has to offer. Here are the wines to get you started:

Nero D’Avola

Nero D’Avola, Sicily’s pride and joy, is the most widely planted red wine grape on the island. Thought to have been brought over from Calabria – the grape is also called Calabrese by some winemakers – wines from this grape can take on many forms depending on where the grape is grown. Nero D’Avola always has a nice, deep color and can have a significant tannin structure. Some of the wines can be vibrant with cherry and plum fruit while others (usually the more expensive examples) can lean more toward baker’s chocolate.

But for our purposes and wallets, the lively, youthful and less expensive examples are the crowd-pleasers. Ranging from around $8-$15 a bottle, these wines will pair well with any dish you serve, whether it be grilled meats, salami and cheese plates or even filleted fish dishes with a bit of cream sauce. It also pairs well with rooftop parties and is great with a slight chill for that picnic in the park. You can’t go wrong with this wine that’s often labeled under the Sicilia DOC, a zone that covers the entire island.

Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia–Oh My!

Catarratto is the most widely planted white wine grape in Sicily and the second most planted in all of Italy after Sangiovese. Along with Grillo and Inzolia, these three have traditionally been blending partners, and they’re the source of some of the best low priced white wine from Italy.

And while the blend is delicious, for about a decade now the winemakers of Sicily have been isolating Inzolia and Grillo and making single varietal wines from these grapes, letting them shine. Nowadays it’s not hard to find a bottle of clean aromatic Inzolia full of minerality and nutty, citrus and floral notes starting at around $8 and peaking in the $15 range. We are seeing more Grillo as well in the same price range with similar notes in addition to crisp green apple on the nose and palate. Grillo is a bit lighter than Inzolia, which has a nice soft weight. As for Catarratto, it is still often being used for blending in small amounts with the new Sicilian fave Chardonnay.

Just inland from the northeastern coast is towering Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano on the European continent. On the Eastern slope of this still smoldering giant are vineyards growing in dark, rich volcanic soil, making beautifully elegant wines from three prominent grapes, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and the amazing high-toned Carricante. The first two are often blended together with a minimum of 80% Nerello Mascalese and a maximum of 20% Nerello Cappuccio. The result is a wine often compared to the characteristics of great Burgundy: bright ruby red in color with almost perfect acidity wafting in with mashed berries and smoky notes.

For the whites of Etna, Carricante is the star, making up at least 60% of the blend but many winemakers use 100% of the grape. If a wine can be deep and soulful while still shining through with bracing acidity, this is the wine. The orange, lemon and grapefruit notes play well with the savory hues of Anise seed and honey, making this wine ideal with a meal. These wines are a bit pricer across the board than other whites from Sicily, ranging from $15-$30. Though they have a higher price tag, they are definitely worth the coin.

I’ll leave you here as you go off and enjoy the wonderful wines of Sicily. I’ll imagine you in the wine shop, walking toward the Italian section in slow motion, with the sweet strings of the Godfather Love Theme as your soundtrack, embraced by a soft vignette. Ci Vediamo a presto!


An Introduction To The Wines Of Sicily [WITH MAP]

In the opening scene of the Godfather Part II (1974) we see a scrub brush desert-like landscape as a funeral march enters stage left. Somber music emanates from the procession as the funeral winds its way through piles of rocks, long fallen from yonder hill. It’s a stark, desolate landscape and for many, this is their first glimpse of Sicily.

Although it’s been said that this geography is constant across the island, it isn’t. There are actually many green patches in between (just check out the running slide show on this site), which is where the wine is made.

The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been occupied by many cultures throughout history, with each group bringing their own unique architecture and practices for either good or harm. These cultures also brought with them their native crops, in hopes of cultivating a piece of their homeland on the island. The Greeks brought olives and grapes. The Romans brought wheat (lot’s of it!). The Moors brought sugarcane, along with lemons and oranges, as well as pistachios, and implemented a new technique called irrigation. With all this influence, Sicily has become an agricultural phenomenon. And for the native grapes of this region, the resulting wine and the winemakers who coax them into existence, it is a veritable Dionysian given gift.

36 Gifts and Gadgets For Anyone Who Loves Drinks

We’re currently experiencing a boom of Sicilian wines on the American market, making this the ideal time to celebrate these wines from a land of hilly and mountainous terrain, excellent elevation and hillside vineyards with wonderful sun exposure. The wines of Sicily have a true personality all their own and are often quite affordable. So let’s get into it!

There are twenty three DOC zones on this island and one DOCG. That’s a lot for one volcanic outcropping. Many of those wines don’t make it over to the U.S., but the ones that do are a great example of what Sicilia has to offer. Here are the wines to get you started:

Nero D’Avola

Nero D’Avola, Sicily’s pride and joy, is the most widely planted red wine grape on the island. Thought to have been brought over from Calabria – the grape is also called Calabrese by some winemakers – wines from this grape can take on many forms depending on where the grape is grown. Nero D’Avola always has a nice, deep color and can have a significant tannin structure. Some of the wines can be vibrant with cherry and plum fruit while others (usually the more expensive examples) can lean more toward baker’s chocolate.

But for our purposes and wallets, the lively, youthful and less expensive examples are the crowd-pleasers. Ranging from around $8-$15 a bottle, these wines will pair well with any dish you serve, whether it be grilled meats, salami and cheese plates or even filleted fish dishes with a bit of cream sauce. It also pairs well with rooftop parties and is great with a slight chill for that picnic in the park. You can’t go wrong with this wine that’s often labeled under the Sicilia DOC, a zone that covers the entire island.

Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia–Oh My!

Catarratto is the most widely planted white wine grape in Sicily and the second most planted in all of Italy after Sangiovese. Along with Grillo and Inzolia, these three have traditionally been blending partners, and they’re the source of some of the best low priced white wine from Italy.

And while the blend is delicious, for about a decade now the winemakers of Sicily have been isolating Inzolia and Grillo and making single varietal wines from these grapes, letting them shine. Nowadays it’s not hard to find a bottle of clean aromatic Inzolia full of minerality and nutty, citrus and floral notes starting at around $8 and peaking in the $15 range. We are seeing more Grillo as well in the same price range with similar notes in addition to crisp green apple on the nose and palate. Grillo is a bit lighter than Inzolia, which has a nice soft weight. As for Catarratto, it is still often being used for blending in small amounts with the new Sicilian fave Chardonnay.

Just inland from the northeastern coast is towering Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano on the European continent. On the Eastern slope of this still smoldering giant are vineyards growing in dark, rich volcanic soil, making beautifully elegant wines from three prominent grapes, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and the amazing high-toned Carricante. The first two are often blended together with a minimum of 80% Nerello Mascalese and a maximum of 20% Nerello Cappuccio. The result is a wine often compared to the characteristics of great Burgundy: bright ruby red in color with almost perfect acidity wafting in with mashed berries and smoky notes.

For the whites of Etna, Carricante is the star, making up at least 60% of the blend but many winemakers use 100% of the grape. If a wine can be deep and soulful while still shining through with bracing acidity, this is the wine. The orange, lemon and grapefruit notes play well with the savory hues of Anise seed and honey, making this wine ideal with a meal. These wines are a bit pricer across the board than other whites from Sicily, ranging from $15-$30. Though they have a higher price tag, they are definitely worth the coin.

I’ll leave you here as you go off and enjoy the wonderful wines of Sicily. I’ll imagine you in the wine shop, walking toward the Italian section in slow motion, with the sweet strings of the Godfather Love Theme as your soundtrack, embraced by a soft vignette. Ci Vediamo a presto!


Watch the video: Markus Bruker Grauer Burgunder trocken QbA (May 2022).


Comments:

  1. Uthman

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  2. Gutaur

    Few are able to make believe.

  3. Kelar

    Authoritative post :), informative ...

  4. Tygozshura

    Admirable idea and it is timely

  5. Manly

    Thank you for the warm welcome)

  6. Shakazragore

    You are wrong. I can defend my position. Email me at PM, we will discuss.



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