This island edition of WINELIFE deserves to dock in Sicily, the largest Mediterranean island. Soon the idea came up to not go to the expected places for once. So we will not go to Palermo, not to Marsala and not even to the beautiful vineyards of Mount Etna. We are going in search of the heart of Sicily, both literally and figuratively. We want to hear ancient vineyards whispering. Away from coastal areas, away from fleeting trends and wines that are measured to the consumer. We go in search of tradition and cultural heritage. - TEXT EDITORS | IMAGE FEUDO MONTONI
The heartbeat of Sicily Fuedo Montoni
Sicily has a huge vineyard area: as much as 140,000 hectares. Unfortunately, far from all vineyards are suitable for quality wine. Many grapes see their careers end in the production of industrial alcohol rather than being bottled as wine. That is not to say that there are no exceptional wines coming from this beautiful island. On the contrary: Sicily brings to the market an amazing diversity of wines, a motley crew of flavours and styles.
Its unique character stems partly from the area's native grape varieties. These include white varieties such as catarratto, grillo and inzolia. All three have their own expression, but what they have in common is their fresh upbeat mood. They are generally sprightly wines, which even on the darkest of days manage to reflect the summer island feeling. Of the blue grape varieties, nero d'Avola is probably the best known, seen by many as the grape that produces warm rich wines. More on this later, but there are two other blue grapes that should not be overlooked: perricone and nerello mascalese. The perricone grape is largely planted in the region around Palermo and we see it mostly in blends with other varieties. But this grape also gives quirky wines on its own, where you sense a deep connection to Sicilian culture. Nerello mascalese is famous for its vineyards planted on Mount Etna. These are often slenderer wines with big personality - a grape that has no fear of heights and is really worth exploring.
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