Marsala Wine Region
World’s Great Fortified Wines from Marsala
These wines, which are believed to have been first created by the English wine merchant John Woodhouse during the year 1773, had a great reputation in the British markets.
A Little on the History of Marsala Wines
Soon after the introduction of Marsala wines by Woodhouse, these wines got popularized in the British markets, thus leading to a great volume of Marsala wine production.
But, after it got the DOC status, as the original DOC laws for these wines were much relaxed, excessively larger volumes were produced.
This, along with the government subsidies for converting the traditional method of vine cultivation to the more productive methods worsened the matter resulting in abundant amounts of low-quality Marsala wines year by year.
This led to the destruction of Marsala wines’ image in the global market. This situation is slowly changing now and the Marsala wines are on its way back!
Of these, Grillo and Inzolia varieties are the traditional grape varieties of Marsala whereas, Catarratto is the modern variety and is widely found in the Marsala region today.
The other varieties listed above are Sicilian specialties except Nero d’Avola, which is the only grape variety that is grown outside the Sicily wine region.
- Morello cherry
- Dried fruits
The unique taste of these wines is developed because of the indigenous grape varieties of Sicily used in the Marsala wines in addition to the complex winemaking procedures applied.
The complex winemaking process of Marsala wines includes the fortification with brandy or grape spirits made from regional grape varieties.
Classification of Marsala Wines based on Various Characteristics
The Marsala wines are classified based on the color, sweetness levels, and aging period as follows:
Based on Sweetness:
- Secco: These wines would contain a maximum of 40 g of residual sugar per liter of wine.
- Semisecco: These would have between 41 to 100 g of residual sugar per liter of wine.
- Dolce: These are the wines with residual sugar of over 100 g per liter of wine.
Based on Color:
- Oro: These are the wines with a golden color.
- Ambra: These would have an amber color. This color is produced by the sweetener mosto cotto.
- Rubino: These are the wines with a ruby color. This color is given by the red grape varieties.
Based on Aging Period:
- Fine: These are the wines with an aging period less than one year.
- Superiore: These wines are aged for at least two years.
- Superiore Riserva: These are aged for at least four years.
- Vergine and Vergine Soleras: These are the wines with an aging period of at least five years.
- Stravecchio: These are the wines with an aging period of at least ten years.
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