Wine

Back when the Greek colonists arrived in Naxos, they devoted themselves professionally to viticulture. The Phoenicians, fearless navigators and first-rate merchants later turned wine into one of the most important commercially exchanged products of that era. Today, grapes are one of the most prolific and highest quality products in Sicily.
The region of Trapani boasts the largest cultivation of grapes on the island. Grapes grown in Trapani include: Grillo, Catarratto, Damaschino, Trebbiano, Inzolia, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nerello Mascalese, Frappato, Merlot, Zibibbo and Marsala, which has been produced in the region for more than 200 years. Moscato is grown on the beautiful island of Pantelleria.
In the region of Catania, the most important wine production area is the Etna D.O.C, thanks to the volcanic conditions of Mt. Etna. In this area, there are twelve regions that produce red, white and rose wines: Linguaglossa, Castiglione, Piedimonte, Pedara, Milo, Randazzo, Sant’Alfio, Riposto, Trecastagni, San Venerina, Viagrande and Zafferana-Etnea. The varietals grown are Catarratto, Carricante, Nerello Mascalese and Inzolia.
In the region of Messina, the Milazzo area has a long history of wine production. Now, there are two D.O.C. regions –Faro in the city of Messina and Malvasia on Lipari, one of the Aeolian Islands. Recent emphasis has also been given to Mamertino as an up-and-coming varietal.
In Monreale near Palermo, a special red is produced called Alcamo, a blend of Nero D’Avola, Frappato, Sangiovese, Perricone, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. A deep ruby red color, Alcamo has a spiced fruit fragrance, a dry taste and a full body.
The name Casteldaccia is linked to the Dukes of Salaparuta, particularly Giuseppe Alliata Moncada, Prince of Villafranca. In his villa Valguarnera near Bagheria he started bottling a white wine produced with Inzolia grapes from the estate “Corvo of Salaparuta”, giving birth to the first French style wine in Sicily.
Cerasuolo di Vittoria wine from Ragusa is a cherry-red color with a delicate fragrance, warm taste, dry, full and harmonious. Produced from Frappato and Calabrese varietals, it may also include Grosso Nero and Nerello Mascalese grapes.
The Cerasuolo di Vittoria is also produced in the province of Caltanisetta, specifically near Riesi and Butera.
The climate, terrain and viticulture of the Siracusa region yields wines that are rich in color, full-bodied and very fruity. In Noto, is produced a Moscato called “Pollio” which is made as a natural or sparkling wine; the sparkling version is a brilliant straw or soft golden yellow color. One of the island’s best Nero D’Avola’s is made in Pachino.
In Agrigento, Menfi is the heartbeat of the D.O.C. region, producing varietals including Menfi, Chardonnay, Grecanico, Inzolia, vintage Tardiva, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Nero D’Avola, Sangiovese, Syrah, Bonera, Bonera Riserva, and Feudo dei Fiori, produced from Chardonnay and/or Inzolia or Ansonica. In the Santa Margherita di Belice DOC is produced Ansonica, Catarratto, Grecanico, Nero D’Avola and Sangiovese, all from a single vine/varietal (monovine). In Montevago next door, similar varietals are produced.
Sambuca di Sicilia has vineyards located at an altitude of over 200 meters and makes a White, Red, Red Riserva, Rose’, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Red is a blend of Nero D’Avola, Nerello Mascalese and/or Sangiovese and/or Cabernet Sauvignon and is ruby red in color with pomegranate reflections, an intense, velvety, dry and full-bodied taste. It is always aged for at least 6 months.

 

Wines and Vines of the Island

Nero D’Avola
Also known as Calabrese, is the best quality and best known varietal in Sicily. Usually grown as a tree, the grapes contain a high sugar content, allowing the wine to easily reach a 15% alcohol content. With an intense taste and fragrance (some say, of morel mushrooms), it is a distinct wine that lacks acidity. For this reason, it is almost always used in winemaking to add body to other varietals. It is also a varietal that when cultivated, it results in a lower sugar content and increased acidity. The white version has a soft straw color with greenish reflections, a delicate fragrance and is fruity, dry, lively, fresh and harmonious. Produced in its purest form with modern technologies, it has become one of the “big Italian reds”, intense and harmonious, with plenty of structure and suitable for long aging. The origin and history of Nero D’Avola is often confused with that of Calabria wine but resonably it has a Siracusan (Avola) origin.

Nerello Cappuccio

Nerello mascalese

Frappato

Perricone

Cerasuolo di Vittoria

Faro

Alcamo Bianco

Mamertino

Marsala

Moscato di Noto

Etna

Etna Bianco

Ansonica- Inzolia- Insolia

Carricante

Catarratto

Grecanico

Zibibbo

Grillo

Malvasia