Wine lovers know this: a Sicilian red enters your heart, and a white produced in this magical land has irresistible charm and character. Which are the main wines? Nero d'Avola, Syrah, Nerello Mascalese, Grillo, Cerasuolo, Etna... and the list could go on!
Here, in five points, is everything you should know about Sicilian wines and, most importantly, why you are going to fall in love with them.
The main Sicilian wines
Sicily is a land of great wines. A connoisseur is spoilt for choice when he starts to explore the Sicily of wine. Such a large selection can be confusing, especially when the offering is as worthwhile and inspired as in the case of this beautiful region. We'll narrow the field to three wines that all wine lovers should try, at least once:
- Nero d'Avola, a red with a unique sensory richness, warm and with a substantial body
- Syrah, tannic and impetuous, often characterised by a rather pronounced alcohol content
- Grillo, an elegant white with a broad bouquet, fresh and soft, with a pleasantly mineral finish
The character and peculiarities of Sicilian wines
Sicilian wines are numerous and varied, but there is something that unites them: the particular micro-climate that allows the fruits to grow, and the composition of the soil. Anyone who has been to Sicily knows this: the temperature, the air, the influence of the sea, the light... they all contribute to creating the climatic conditions that make this such a happy land. And if the climate allows the grapes to grow in optimal conditions, the soil does the rest: the composition, and in particular areas the components of volcanic origin, enrich the fruits, giving the wine unique and inspired aromatic notes.
The most important areas
The spread of the vine in Sicily is wide, and the areas that over the years have carved out a leading role in the Italian wine world are many. They are: Erice, Segesta, Mazara del Vallo, Monreale, Agrigento and the Valle dei Templi, the island of Pantelleria, the area of Castelli Nisseni, Contea di Sclafani, Vittoria, Piazza Armerina, Messina and the Aeolian Islands, Etna, Siracusa and Noto. Each of these territories offers wines of great richness of expression, all different and yet united by an inimitable soul.
How long has Sicily been producing wine?
Recent studies conducted at archaeological sites near Monte Kronio (Sciacca) and Sant'Ippolito (Caltagirone) have questioned the idea that the first to introduce the cultivation of vines in Sicily had been the Phoenicians, between the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Some of the jars dating from the Copper Age (about 4,000 BC), found in Sicily between Sciacca and Caltagirone, contained organic residues that can be traced to winemaking. Winemaking in Sicily is something much more ancient than was previously thought – unless 6,000 years of experience in the sector seems like only a little...
Why choose a Sicilian wine?
Wine in Italy is much more than something to sip for an aperitif: it is a treasure that has very few equals in the world, both in the breadth of its offering and in the quality of its products. Choosing a Sicilian wine means choosing a wine that has all the character, charm, taste and tradition of the best wines of our country. Wines that, although they deserved their own fame, until a few years ago were relegated to being added to more renowned wines to enrich flavour and sometimes colour, and have only recently begun to garner some of the success they deserve.
Another good reason to discover Sicilian wines? To treat yourself to a journey through the emotions of Sicily, which are evoked every time by the flavours and bouquets its wines can offer.