Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, is one of Italy’s top wine travel destinations. In addition to its wine, Sicily is a marvellous place to visit for its cultural diversity, historical sites, food, beautiful beaches and seaside towns.
Wine tourism in Sicily is growing in part due to a consortium of passionate wine producers, Wines of Sicilia DOC, an organisation that aims to preserve and promote the island’s wine-making. Wine has been produced on the island since as early as the 8th century BC when the Greeks started cultivating grapes, and ancient varieties are still used in producing some of Sicily’s most prestigious wines.
Indigenous Sicilian wines include the crisp refreshing white Grillo and the full-bodied red Nero d’Avola.
Many wine makers have re-introduced other native grape varieties such as the white Catarratto and the red Frappato, often using them in blends with other varieties to make spectacular Sicilian wines. Almost 50 native grape varieties are now being used in wine making and many vineyards are also producing organic wines.
There is a saying: ‘In Sicily you only need to move the length of a fingernail to find a different terrain.’ Wine is produced in diverse areas of the island, each unique in it its agricultural potential. Think, for example, Etna’s black slopes, compared to Trapani’s Stagnone Lagoon and salt pans.