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Southern Italy - Sicily Wine Region

Written on 15-02-2017 by Italian Trade Promotion Agency (ICE), Belgrade, Serbia

Lovely Sicilian 'winescape'

Sicily is the largest Mediterranean island and it is situated just off the 'toe' of Italy's 'boot'! Wines of Sicily’s rising status is reflected in the promotion of Cerasuolo di Vittoria to DOCG.


That pale but potent red from Nero d’Avola and Frappato is recognised as Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico from around the town of Vittoria. 


Sicily’s average annual wine production of 635 million litres (4th in volume among the regions) includes about 4% DOC/DOCG and 25% IGT. White wine accounts for some 70% of Sicily’s production.


Contrasts are not the least of those things in which Sicily abounds. So perhaps it is not surprising that this ancient island boasts one of Italy’s most dynamic wine industries or that a region noted chiefly in the past for strong and often sweet amber Marsala and Moscato has put new emphasis on dry, modern wines - both red and white.


A major share of Sicily’s DOC production is represented by Marsala, a wine originated by English merchant traders two centuries ago. The other DOC wine made in quantity is the pale white, bone dry Bianco d’Alcamo, part of the broader Alcamo appellation. Moscato di Pantelleria, from the remote isle off the coast of Tunisia, is among the most esteemed of Italian sweet wines. Malvasia delle Lipari, from the volcanic Aeolian isles, is a dessert wine as exquisite as it is rare. Production of the other traditional DOCs - the dry, red Faro and the sweet Moscatos of Noto and Siracusa - has been slight in recent times, but the volume of premium wines has increased with the addition of DOCs from various parts of the island.


The greatest surge in volume of quality wine has not come with DOC/DOCG - which still represents only about 5% of total production - but with the rapid expansion of IGT, primarily under the region wide Sicilia appellation.


Many fine wines come from native varieties, notable Nero d’Avola (or Calabrese), Nerello Mascalese and Perricone (or Pignatello) among the reds, and Inzolia and Grecanico among the whites. Also prominent are such international varieties as Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.