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Friday, July 19, 2019

Treasure Island---Sicily

                                      Magnificent wines & fabulous gastronomy await visitors

Italy’s Mediterranean destination-island is a treasure trove of perfect seafood, intensely flavored vegetables, superb olive oil, and world-class wines. Strongly influenced by its many conquerors---from the Greeks, to the Romans, the Arabs, the French and the Spanish---the island’s culture represents a unique crossroads of the Mediterranean.  Stunning island geography, along with a breathtaking tapestry of art and architecture (including two of the best-preserved Greek temples in the world), completes this Italian jewel.

Grapes are grown on the slopes of Mt Etna

One of the biggest show-stoppers of Sicily is its wines.  Prepare yourself for new varietals that only are  grown in Sicily.   Indigenous grapes such as Nero d’Avola, Frappato, Grillo, Catarrato, Carricante and Insolia are not grown elsewhere.  Adding to the attraction is that many of these grapes are grown in mineral-rich volcanic soil which imparts interesting complexities.   There’s no problem ripening fruit in Sicily due to its idyllic year around climate.  All of this translates into lush, fruit-forward wines with a hint of minerality.  Simply put, Sicily’s wines are stunning and full of unique personality.

                                           Even the eggplant are special varietals

Sicily’s cuisine is different from any other Italian region.  In fact, the mainland Italians consider Sicily a continent.   The island’s culinary prowess comes from its vivid and diverse background of past conquerors who left their indelible mark on Sicily’s gastronomic scene.  Expect hints of exotic spices like saffron and cinnamon paired with local ingredients—lemons, blood oranges, almonds, fresh capers, and wild mountain oregano.  There’s an abundance of fish and seafood, with swordfish being one of the specialties.

    Vegetables are like you've never had them before 

Wine Knows will be visiting Sicily during their grape harvest in September 2020.  The trip is sold out.  If you will not be joining us but wish to explore the island's great quality/price ratio wines, here are my suggestions for the best producers, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Cusumano
  • Donnafugata
  • Occhipinti
  • Passopisciaro
  • Planeta
  • Tenuta Fessina
  • Tenuta delle Terre Nere


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