Sicily, due to its history, its art and its climatic, geographic and geological characteristics is very different from the rest of Italy and more than a region it could be considered a “universe”. Fruit and vegetables have another taste here and to sample the dishes of the extremely diverse and rich Sicilian traditional cuisine is an unforgettable experience: the influence of the Greek, Arab, Spanish, and French dominations mingle and result in flavours that are impossible to find anywhere else. The original recipes are improved as, for example, fish couscous which is a Sicilian “piatto forte”. Even the salt from the ancient saltworks of Mothia near Trapani is one of the most flavourful of the whole Mediterranean. And what to say about the divine “granite” (crushed ice flavoured with fruit or almond paste) or the mouth-watering “gelo di melone” (a delicious watermelon jelly)? Fossil vines, dating back to the tertiary period, were found on the slopes of the Etna. Before the Greeks (who occupied Sicily between 800 and 500 b.C. and who improved viticulture and wine making), vines were grown by the “Siculi” a population from peninsular Italy. They used to venerate “Adranos”, the god of wine (and Adrano is the name of a large town on the southern slopes of the Etna), long before the introduction of the Greek “Dionysos”. Sicilian wines started being exported throughout the Mediterranean during the IV century b.C. and were greatly appreciated by the Romans. Under the Arab domination viticulture was restricted to the production of raisins (hence the name “uva sultanina” meaning “sultan’s grape”) even though the population continued to drink wine (its consumption was forbidden in public). Strangely enough the Arabs introduced the technique of distilling wine and pomace, but mainly for medicinal purposes. Fortunately there were better times for wine: in 1700s and 1800s wines from the Etna were exported to the whole of Europe from the port of Riposto, and Marsala wine has become famous thanks to John Woodhouse, Benjamin Ingham and Vincenzo Florio. Phylloxera that ravaged the island in 1880-1881 and the recent massive introduction of international grape varietals sadly caused the loss of many indigenous Sicilian grape varietals, that had adapted to the climatic and soil conditions over the centuries. Although the Sicilian territory would be more suitable for the production of red wines, 75% of the varietals at present grown are white. The production of bulk wine is still predominant and the growers who bottle are a small percentage, but there is now more awareness of the value of autochtonous grapes and many more high quality wines are being made. We would like to invite you to taste the “real thing” having selected estates in the zones where indigenous varietals have survived and where wine is still made respecting tradition: the Etna, the island of Pantelleria, the area of Trapani and that of Ragusa. These areas are profoundly different the one from the other and give you an idea of how unique the island of Sicily is. All this is reflected in the wines: your senses can be intrigued by a “burgundian” Etna Rosso, a luscious Nero d’Avola or a sensuous Passito di Pantelleria!
Popular Red Blends
Average annual production of our selection
Popular White Blends
Total vineyards extension of our selection