Sicily: an amazing array of food, wine and culture….

Amazing fruit and vegetables grown on the fertile soils of Mount Etna.

This week I have working on a newsletter on the wines of Sicily. Looking back at my photo’s made me remember just how much I loved Sicily. What an amazing place. Next year I will return their in June with my family and I cannot wait.

For those who have been to Italy but not to Sicily, one tip: go. It is an experience that you will never forget. The island is such a vibrant mix of culture and architecture and it is an obvious reminder that not that long ago, Italy was a mix of different cultures with Sicily being the most different.

The photo above was taken on my trip to Sicily in 2011 and the quality of the fruit and vegetables grown on volcanic soils beneath Mount Etna was the best I have ever eaten. When matched with the amazing quality and array of wines produced from this amazing island, it is easy to see why so many people fall in love with Sicily.

You cannot go to Sicily and not eat Pasta all Norma…

Like these mix of cultures, the wines that they grow on Sicily are all quite different. From the rich and full flavours of Nero d’Avola, to the almost Burgundian Nerello Mascalese grown on Mount Etna, their wines showcase just how different soils, alititudes and of course grape varities can be on this amazing Island.

Every year I head back to Italy and on each visit, I either spend my time solely in the north or south of Italy. This year I visited Italy in March (where I spent three weeks in the north of Italy) and June (where I spent two weeks in the south of Italy) and for me personally, I do not have a preference and find both the north and south captivating.

When I think of the wines of Sicily my mind always heads straight to Nero d’Avola which has been for centuries been seen as the workhouse of the region. this rich, robust red is full bodied yet light on it’s feet. Due to the volcanic soil that it is grown on, it has amazing minerality and complexity that makes it fantastic drinking for under $20 a bottle. If you want to get serious about Sicilian wine, then I you need to head to Mount Etna and the amazing old vine Nerello Mascalese grown at high altitude and on differing lava flows.


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