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Under the Sicilian Sun: A Wine Lover’s Guide to Sicilia DOC

For the student of fine wine and food, there is no better place to learn than Italy. The Italians are extremely proud of their flawless ability to pair food and wine together.

Those who are seeking the Italian wine experience are often drawn to the likes of popular regions such as Tuscany and Piemonte. But, the more sophisticated wine connoisseurs are now turning their focus down south to Sicily. There they are finding a vast number of impressive wineries showcasing both indigenous varietals and new blends taking Italy — and the world — by storm.

Sicilians have been harvesting grapes and making wine since the 8th century BC; and today, the newly-launched Sicilia DOC — a consortium of wine producers developed to motivate people to think differently about Sicilian wine — is once again putting Sicily in the forefront of wine producing.

In the last 15 years, Sicily has been working tirelessly to revitalize indigenous grapes while crafting sophisticated red and white wines in its own backyard. Antonio Rallo, the President of Sicilia DOC and co-owner of Donnafugata Winery, heads up the initiative in an effort to create educational forums where Sicilian wines can shine. With now 73 wineries participating in the consortium, they are working together to showcase the regional indigenous grape varietals including grillo, nero d’Avola, inzolia, catarratto, frappato, grecanico, and perricone.

Not all wines in Sicily are designated by the Sicilia DOC. To receive the honor, the wine and winemaking process must guarantee specific practices respectful of the natural varieties of the wine. It all comes down to the pedo-climatic conditions under which the grapes are grown. To achieve this, the wine making process must strike the perfect balance between soil, climate and human intervention. They are strictly against the usage of any type of chemical fertilizers in the soil, according to the DOC Sicilia regulations, in order to produce the highest quality of wines. Read the full story here

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