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
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.
and Vines of the Island
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
Cerasuolo di Vittoria
Moscato di Noto
Ansonica- Inzolia- Insolia