A Great Vintage Year in Sicily

29 Agosto 2014 Vendemmia

Vineyards are bustling, getting ready for the grape harvest that is taking place in Sicily’s vineyards. The island has the largest viticulture area in Italy and is unique for the diversity of wine producing territories. They range from sea level vineyards to those 1100 meters above sea level in the Etna volcanic region. Different soils, particular expositions and microclimates determine its diversity.

Grape harvest in Sicily lasts for two to three months according to the ripening of the grapes in the different areas. This depends on grape varieties, territories and temperature range. Oenologists and wine producers agree that this will be a great year for Sicilian wines. Optimal weather conditions with generous Spring rainfalls followed by moderate summer temperatures means that grape production will be high this year.

Francesco Ferreri, president of Assovini Sicilia says: “The quality of the production this year will give great balance and elegance to Sicilian wines”.
Antonio Rallo, president of the DOC Sicilia confirms. “The quality of the product is excellent throughout the region, harvested grapes are healthy, well-ripened and with good sugar content”.

Enthusiasm is also expressed by wine producers from the different wine territories. Tasca d’Almerita of the Regaleali Estate confirms great expectations. “We’ve had a perfect season as precipitation and temperatures have favored a slow and gradual ripening of the grapes”.
Caruso & Minini from Marsala, province of Trapani say. “The absence of hot scirocco winds and marked thermal excursions contribute to the aromas and scents of this year’s wine”. The Donnafugata Winery with its estates in Marsala, and on the Pantelleria Islands , has express great satisfaction for this year’s fresh and fruity wines but also for structured and complexity wines.

Arianna Occhipinti, young and dynamic winemaker from Vittoria, territory of Sicily’s renomated Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, says. “This year’s harvest promises well. The sugar content is satisfying and considering the territory, our red wines will range around 19° to 20° Babo.”

There are great expectations for Etna wines this year. Etna’s vineyards are considered among the highest in the world and grape harvest begins in October and continues through November. A very interesting territory for its volcanic soil and climate are characterised by marked night and day variations of temperatures. Etna wines are appreciated for their organoleptic characteristics, freshness, acidity and mineral content. A unique territory for unique wines.

Maria Lina Bommarito
Maria Lina Bommarito
I was born in Chicago, in 1960. We returned to Sicily when I was 14 and this time it was to stay! I am married to a lawyer and we have two children that now live and work in Milan. I have a degree in Political Sciences/International Relations and an A.I.S. Sommelier diploma. My passion for what I can “the world of wine” is inevitable, living in Sicily. My wine experiences begin in the winery vineyards. I enjoy interviewing the winery agronomists and oenologists because I find it very interesting knowing all about wine and grapes and soils and vinification. My husband is also a pilot and I enjoy flying with him on a small plane enjoying the breath-taking views and taking photos. I also enjoy cooking and my favorite dishes are Sicilan. Sicily and its people are unique, there is so much to write about and I love to share my experiences with those who want to know more about this paradise. More about my bio here

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  1. I cannot be there this year, next year maybe and visit Palermo for another Day with the Contessa and her delightful Palazzo in the Lions Den . Least when I left there was a huge Bronze Lion on the heavy wood front door ! Memories of fab food , teeming markets and that famous Canonisation , to snub the Mafiosa .

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