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The best wines of Sicily

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Written by EFW Staff

From ancient vine varieties, the best Sicilian wines

The best Sicilian wines: Marsala

Marsala is the most famous Sicilian wine. The success is given by John Woodhouse, an English business ma. He tasted the wine produced in the area of Marsala, and decided to add wine spirit to protect it during the transport towards England. The wine produced in this way liked that much that Woodhouse himself decided to stop in Sicily to produce it with the system Soleras as for the Spanish and Portuguese wines.
Thanks to him, today we saw a territory where the vine varieties Grillo, Cattaratto, Perricone and Nerello Mascalese grow up in the best way. Marsala has been the first Italian wine to obtain the DOC certification. A strict code of conduct has been wrote down, in fact, to safeguard the quality.

The type of Marsala, based on the wines used, are: gold, amber, ruby. In the Gold version it is forbidden to add cooked must. In the Amber version there is a percentage of 1% of cooked must whereas the ruby red derives from red grapes with a maximum percentage of 30% of white grapes, without cooked must.

Based on the period of refining, Marsala can be: fine (12 months), Superior (24 months), Riserva (48 months), Vergine (60 months), Vergine Stravecchio (120 months).
Finally, based on the sugary residual it can be: dry, semi-dry (40-100 g/l), sweet (100 g/l).

Sicilian wine with character: Nero d’Avola

One of the best Sicilian wine is Nero d’Avola. In this case the wine is identified with the wine variety. Nero d’Avola, as wine, was known abroad since the 1800. The wine variety was planted for the first time in the south-eastern area of Sicily, near Avola. Thanks to its high quality it became one of the best Sicilian wine par excellence.
This wine has a high alcoholic volume. Its characteristic aroma is the one of ripened Marasca cherry, together with spiced and balsamic notes. The wine leaves a great impression. Often Nero d’Avola is produced together with Syrah or other typical Sicilian wine varieties in order to soften its austere character. The vine variety Nero d’Avola is also used for the production of Cerasuolo di Vittoria.

Syrah, one of the softer Sicilian wine

Syrah is a great wine of the vine variety with the same name. Despite it is an international variety, it seems that originally it comes from Siracusa. The softness of the wine with its smell of red fruits, flowers, spices, make it pleasant; all thanks to the Sicilian soil with its mineral salts gives the ideal nutrients. The wine that this mix create has an amazing bouquet and a balanced taste that well compensate the character of the two varieties.

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The best Sicilian white wines are so perfumed

Sicily is not only the land of red wines. Its white berry grape varieties like Grillo, Cataratto, Malvasia and Zibibbo are able to give fresh wine, pleasantly sapid, with an amazing bouquet.
The climatic conditions of the different areas of Sicily influence the wines in a strong way. Malvasia delle Lipari is an example. It has a wonderful yellow colour, the aromatic intensity is completed by a sweet and balanced taste. Bianco d’Alcamo is a wine well-known for its aromas: it is produced in the area of Alcamo that comprehend all the near territory. A wine for the whole meal that is produced in the version spumante to enhance the aromas thanks to the bubbles.

Zibibbo, basic grape variety of the best Sicilian wines

Zibibbo is a white berry grape variety used to produce Passito di Pantelleria. Pantelleria is famous for its passito colour produced in extreme conditions: the area, in fact, is exposed to the wind that lead the plant to have a low result. The colour of passito remind the gold colour. It is characterized by notes of apricot and orange blossom. The production is limited and zibibbo, despite being the core of the sweet Sicilian wines, is often vinified dry. The wine is unique for its perfumes and it is perfect if paired with shellfish.

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EFW Staff