its warm temperatures, hilly terrain, sea breezes and rich soil,
is very similar to the growing conditions seen in the best wineries
of California or Australia.
perfect conditions, it should come as little surprise that the
country has more area under vine than any other major winemaking
region in Italy.
Sicilian vineyard near Mt. Etna.
As a result, the enormous amount of grapes grown under the bright Sicilian sunshine are made into raisins,
fill countless fruit bowls, or are naturally used in the production of wine. In fact, Sicily produces more wine per year than Australia,
New Zealand and Hungary combined.
Some Sicilian winemakers produce well-known varietals like Merlot,
Chardonnay and Sangiovese. Others believe that the world is ready
to be introduced to such indigenous varieties as Nero dAvola,
Nerello Mascalese, Inzolia and Catarratto. These are the grapes
that display the character of Sicilys winemaking tradition and
are ideally suited for the vibrant flavors of the islands
On the international scene, Sicily is also renowned for the many outstanding cooking and dessert wines, such as the world-famous Marsala used in such popular dishes as Chicken Marsala.
If you happen to travel to the island around November 11 look for signs announcing the annual Festa del Vino or "Festival of the Wine" to truly appreciate a taste for the grape and its importance to thousands of years of Sicilian history and culture. "Salute!"
More about Sicilian wines around the Web:
Wine Renaissance - Review of Sicilian wines making a good
showing on the international wine scene with recommended brands,
good explanation of why the wines are getting more attention,
and why some of the local wines should be tasted - with hesitation
- while traveling through Sicily...