The world famous cuisine of Sicily is a reflection of the island’s bounty and biodiversity, but while Sicilian ingredients have long been a part any culinary experience, the wines paired with these meals rarely came from Sicily. Fortunately for wine lovers, that is changing. Today, the Sicilia DOC is reviving the island’s vinous heritage so that both Sicily’s own pantheon of culinary delights as well as fine cuisines from around the world can benefit from the elegance and harmony Sicilian wines bring to the table. Sicily Wine experiences can be found in every province on the island. Sicilian wineries are increasingly including hospitality as a part of their daily schedule, and many wine estates offer concierge-style wine tasting experiences for the discerning wine lover.
Now more than ever, Sicilian wine producers are focusing on the opportunities provided by the Mediterranean landscape. The island’s climatic conditions are perfect for producing healthy grapes and extraordinary wines with distinctive flavors at incredible value. For those who have already enjoyed Sicily’s wines, either with the island’s traditional foods or their own favorite international dishes,one thing remains clear: Incredible food and amazing wines do not have to be expensive.
As wine lovers discover the best-known Sicilian grapes—Grillo, Catarratto, Nero d’Avola, Frappato and others—they find that the sun-kissed island is capable of producing a range of intriguing flavors, but ultimately it is Sicily’s authenticity that wins their heart.
The Sicilia DOC wineries that work with the island’s indigenous varieties know that creating modern expressions of Sicily’s ancient past requires tremendous focus. Sicilia DOC producers are continually pursuing opportunities to emphasize quality.
Collaborations between Sicilian winegrowers and researchers have benefited sustainable practices in every province on the island. Experiments in wineries further prove the importance of gentle technologies that guarantee freshness, elegance and uniqueness in all Sicilia DOC wines.
By supporting each winery’s efforts to enhance quality-driven grapegrowing and winemaking, the Sicilia DOC assures consumers that every wine it bottles represents the diversity of flavors for which the island has been known for millennia.
Sicily is an island of great natural beauty and rich culture, where innovative producers are combining tradition with modern techniques to create wines that are capturing new attention around the world.
With more than 250,000 acres planted to indigenous and international grape varieties, each vintage in Sicily produces an array of captivating and elegant wines. Our wine and food tour explores the best wines from Sicily in some stunning locations from Mt Etna to Marsala.
Winemakers who have found success in the versatility of white wines from Grillo and the bold flavors of Nero d’Avola are rediscovering the nearly 50 native grape varieties that are unique to Sicily.
From A.D. 872 to 1061, wine production in Sicily declined, but developments directly following that period rejuvenated the island’s export business. This, in turn, helped stabilize the economy. The next important step in the history of Sicilian wine would come many years later. In 1773 an English merchant by the name of John Woodhouse would help bring Marsala to the world. Riding on the success of Marsala, Sicilians made huge developments in wine production, and wine soon became an important pillar of the island’s economic structure. During the years to follow, some of Sicily’s most famous wineries were founded.
In 1881, Phylloxera invaded Sicily and entire vineyards were destroyed. In the same decade, exports to France stopped after a commercial agreement with Sicily was broken. Wine production on the island didn’t recover for more than half a century, and when it did, the market had changed completely, and Sicilian winemakers had to adapt. Fortunately, their ability to adjust, as well as a new attention to quality, helped wine producers in Sicily regain their place as some of the best in the world.
Now is the time to visit some of the traditional wineries, taste a plethera of varietals and understand how ancient grapes are being rediscovered . Most major vineyards are planting experimental plots with long forgotten varietals. So many stories to share, its a fascinating wine scene.
To find out more take a look at our new luxury wine tour of Sicily.