Sicilia

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 progressive wine industries or that a region noted chiefly in the past for strong and often sweet amber Marsala and Moscato has switched the emphasis toward lighter, fruitier wines mainly white but also red.

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, has more vineyards than any other Italian region. Yet, with the emphasis shifting from quantity to quality, wine production has diminished recently to slightly less than that of Veneto.

A large part of the DOC wines is represented by the Marsala, a wine that was created two centuries ago by English traders. Another wine produced in large quantities is Alcamo, a dry white wine. Small islands such as Pantelleria and Lipari are also known for their favourite dessert wines, the Moscato di Pantelleria and the Malvasia delle Lipari. A homonymous wine, both white and red, is also produced on the flanks of Mount Etna.

The Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a wine with an intense red colour and a great body, is also a worthy representative of the region. For a long time, many Sicilian wines have been marketed under the label IGT Sicilia (a typical geographical indication) which, since 2011, has become DOC Sicilia. The best-known varieties are the Nero d’Avola, the Nerello Mascalese and the Nerello Mantellato for the reds, and the Inzolia, the Grillo and the Catarratto for the whites.

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