Winery of the Month – OCT 2018
The biggest island in the Mediterranean holds an interesting vinous history. It has been inhabited by the Sicilians (who the island is named after), Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Germans, and Spanish. The Greeks introduced trellising and pruning methods to increase both quality and quantity. The Romans introduced the wines to the rest of Italy and Europe. When the Byzantines took control they once again increased vineyard and winemaking quality. After the Byzantines winemaking and the Island suffered many ups and downs. In 1773 John Woodhouse landed in the port of Marsala. Here, he came in contact with the sweet wine Marsala. Port and sherry were popular in England at the time. The sweet styles of wine dominated Sicilian wine making until the 1881 when Phylloxera, a root louse that destroyed entire vineyards, invaded the island. By the time the wine industry had recovered in the mid 1900’s tastes had changed. Sicily took some time to adapt to these changes.
Sicily is ideal for grape growing. The summers are warm with only small but dependable amounts of rain. The rocky soil, which is bad for most crops, is ideal for grapes. It forces the plant to focus energy on root and berry development instead of canopy growth. The breezes from the Mediterranean keep the grape clusters dry which inhibit disease growth. With all these factors it is no surprise that Sicily produces over 800 million gallons of wine a year. A very large proportion of this wine is grown Organically. As of this writing we are seeing more attention paid to indigenous varietals and traditional wine-making techniques. So, grab a Sicilian wine and let us know what you think.
Tenuta Rapitala Piano Maltese
Here is an interesting blend of Grillo and Cataratto. The wine is medium bodied with high acidity. Flavors of stone fruits with some lemon underneath. There are some light herbal flavors to go with some almond on the finish.
Regularly $13.99 Sale $10.99
Firriato Etna Bianco
We now move to the slopes of the most active volcano in Europe. Here we see a typical Etna blend of Carricante and Cataratto. You will definitely notice some floral flavors alongside peach and ripe yellow pears. The wine is medium bodied with medium acidity.
Regularly $24.99 Sale $19.99
Pietradolce Etna Rosso
Once again we are on the volcanic slopes of Mt Etna. This time though the wine is red and made from Norello Mascalese. The wine is light in body and color, but not in flavor. Red berries highlight this wine along some tobacco and some savory herbs.
Regularly $25.99 Sale $20.99
Frappato is one of the oldest varieties on the Island. It is a light bodied red wine that is full of bright fresh red berries. This is a great wine for pizza, salami, hard cheeses, or spicy foods.
Regularly $12.99 Sale $9.99
Marco de Bartoli Rosso di Marco
This one is made from the Pignatello grape, known locally as Perricone. This wine is typical of Pignatello in that it is medium bodied and full of ripe red fruits with floral aromas.
Regularly $29.99 Sale $23.99
Frappato and Nero d’Avola make up this blend from Arianna Occhipinti. She is completely organic with no interventions at all. The wine is fresh and vibrant with a some violet on top of the bright red berries and plum flavors.
Regularly $24.99 Sale $19.99