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Sicily Wine Region, Italy

Introducing You to the Fantastic Wines of Sicily

Sicily, which is located in the southernmost part of Italy, is among the oldest winemaking regions of the European continent.

The winemaking history of Sicily can be dated back to the times when this island was belonging to Magna Graecia.

Wine grape varieties

The fine wines from the western parts of Sicily and from the regions near Mount Etna are world famous even today although several new wineries have been established here in the recent past.

So, what are Sicilian wines? In this article, you will get the most basic information about the wines from Sicily.

Read more about the wines from Sicily

Vineyards in Sicily, Italy

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Factors Responsible for the Fantastic Wines from Sicily

Mostly the climatic conditions are the key factors that are needed for the cultivation of wine grapes.

Our Sicily is blessed with the perfect climatic conditions that are required for the wine grape cultivation.

Sicily is experiencing a consistent bright sunshine with sufficient amount of moderate rainfalls.

This Mediterranean climate along with a low disease pressure makes the region best suited for the cultivation of wine grapes.

The regions of Sicily are found to have a low disease pressure because of the warmer and drier meaning that there are mildews.

Because of these conditions, the rots are prevented and hence, the region seldom requires the use of chemical sprays. Therefore, a majority of Sicilian wines are made from organic grapes.

Soils and Mountains are also responsible

When it comes to the cultivation of wine grapes, the region’s soils and mountains are also playing a major role.

In particular, Mount Etna is providing the mineral-rich soils that are known to be characterizing the DOC vineyards of this region.

At present, the winegrowers have started to plant the wine grapes on the volcanic grapes in order to get the best out of the cool air and rich soils of these slopes.

On the other hand, the Iblei Mountains are responsible for the characters of the wines from the eastern Sicily.

Key Grape Varieties of Sicilian Wines

In general, the key grape varieties that are being used in the making of Sicilian wines include both native and imported ones.

Among the native grape varieties, the most used ones are Nero d’Avola (red variety) and Catarratto (white variety).

The former one is found to occupy around 16% of the total vineyards of Sicily while the latter one is found to be occupying around 60% of the total vineyards in this region.

Nero d’Avola is the dark-skinned variety which has a great historical importance.

This can be used to make denser and darker wines can be stored in oak barrels for aging.

On the other hand, Catarratto is mainly used for producing lighter and easy-drinking wines.

Apart from these two varieties, this region is famous for the Grillo and Inzolia grape varieties.

These varieties are being used for the making of one of the most popular wines of Sicily, Marsala.

Both these are white varieties and are seen widely planted all over the Sicilian region of Italy.

Grillo is commonly used in the production of several still wines be it a varietal wine or a blended wine. Upon vinification, this would give a fresher, lighter wine with nutty and fruity flavours.

On the other hand, Inzolia would give crispy, dry white wines. These wines will be moderately aromatic with nutty and citrus flavours with herbal essence.

Other Grape Varieties of Sicily

Besides the aforementioned major grape varieties, the region is known to cultivate some other grape varieties also.

They are:

  • Grecanico
  • Alicante (Grenache)
  • Perricone
  • Nocera
  • Frappato
  • Chardonnay
  • Nerello Mascalese
  • Nerello Cappuccio
  • Syrah
  • Trebbiano


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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