SICILY: SUSTAINABLE BY NATURE
The iconic grapes of Sicily outline an itinerary of experience and flavors that reveal a peculiar identity, which encapsulates the wonders of Mediterranean civilization.
Born as an island is somehow conceding to the possibility of being complete. To be born in Sicily is to boast an internal diversity which in itself is enough to consider oneself a nation which, due to its dynamism - cultural, territorial, gastronomic - does not need added value.
Sicily is considered a continent in itself, where the black lava terrain merges with the white of the salt flats. And where the coasts form sinuous lines surrounding a territory on which hills rise, and are exposed to the Sicilian winds.
Sicily is complexity, sometimes contrasting, yet so extraordinarily perfect in restoring beauty and value, ambiance and resources. The oenological production of the island is undoubtedly the manifestation of the good fruits of this natural generosity. So vibrant in its nuances, so determined in its identity, that it roots itself in the cultivated land yet still knows how to let itself be inspired and fulfilled by the territorial scents that - by geography or culture - influence it. Sicily, a crossroads between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, is the mother of a wine tradition that is able to encapsulate different and never predictable taste experiences, which are found every time a bottle of local wine arrives on international tables.
Where nature is generous, agriculture can also respond in the right way. Sicily is the first region in Italy dedicated to organic agricultural production, which results in excellence in the world of wine. The primacy is made possible by ideal climatic conditions, fertile soils and winds. But also, by prodigious human attention and professionalism that is maintained by individual producers and supported by the Consorzio di Tutela Vini Sicilia DOC (which has led the way in conservation and promotion of the wine heritage since 2012). The work of the Consortium was started and still continues towards sustainability, reducing unnecessary treatments on plants and vines, precisely because the island’s innate conditions are favorable for growth.
Sicilian sustainability is therefore intertwined with respect for one’s activities and authenticity, aimed at protecting the richness and variety of the territory. The result is a highquality product that fully respects the environment, a wine born from the privilege of an island that is sustainable by nature. Tradition remains the root of oenological culture, but does not limit its vision: new generations of Sicilian wine producers - which the Consortium supports - work on increasingly modern and fresh wines, which look to international cuisine.
The Sicilian identity is found in the most famous native vine, Nero d’avola, elegant and with character. A rich red wine, loaded with taste and a distinguishing ruby color, it is extremely velvety, deep and warm. The Nero d’avola is the king of Sicily, the one that collects all the nuances of the island, transforming them into flavors reminiscent of the warmest earth, where the sun beats yet lets itself be swayed by the sea breeze, until reaching harmony and balance. The taste is fruity, with floral and spicy notes. An excellent structure shapes the balance between acidity and softness, returning an enveloping but never impetuous bouquet. Legend has it that the vine was born from the tears of Dionysus, who thirstily gave life to that nectar useful for comforting men and gods from their labors. Today it is cultivated in almost the entire region, but its origin is between the Syracusan districts of Noto and Pachino, where - thanks to the dry and windy climate - it has found its habitat. Nero D’avola is particularly suitable for dishes with a strong flavor, for foods with sweet and sour sauces and with seasoned cheeses. It is perfectly aligned with Sicilian dishes and roasted or grilled red and white meats. And if Nero d’avola is the main red grape variety, Grillo is the representative of the white fruit. Also produced in purity, to satisfy its predisposition to give life to whites characterized by an aromatic richness. Grillo is sapid, endowed with good acidity and a balanced softness. Its wine has a deep yellow straw color, a good aromatic accompaniment, with herbaceous, floral and citrus notes, releasing a flavor that lends itself readily to the summer season and to cold dishes such as fish-based appetizers, shellfish and fresh cheeses. Two different grapes, but evidently daughters of their land for their decisive character, strongly linked to the Sicilian tradition and its history. The wine of Sicily today is richness, a common thread that accompanies new and unprecedented journeys that contribute to expanding the tourist offerings of the region. Crossing the Sicilian wine roads becomes an experience that unites and enhances the culture of the place, the naturalistic and the environmental aspects. Sicilian wine is an experience to cross the culture of the island and form its identity: an almost mystical nectar that becomes the passport to enter the island of the Gods.