Sicilian wine is one of the main points of the regional export. Those, who come on holidays to Sicily, can get acquainted with a rich variety of Sicilian wine in any public place of the Isle such as a prestigious restaurant in the centre of Catania or a small port tavern in one of the hundreds of coastal villages. The most famous kinds of wine on Sicily are sweet wines and liquors.
There are more wine farms on Sicily than in any other Italian provinces. Wine making has been known there since the time of Ancient Greeks. For some thousands of years it has been a great part of life of the Sicilians. It is considered that the best kinds of wine in Sicily are made of the grapes which are grown only in one place of the Isle that is near the foot of the famous Etna.
Among different kinds of Sicilian wine there are some very tasty ones which have become visit cards of the local wine makers.
Marsala is a sort of sweet wine which is rather strong (20%). The name of the wine is the name of a small town in the province of Trapani. It started to be produced at the plant which belonged to John Woodhouse at the end of the 18th century. At first the experts considered Marsala to be a kind of Cherry or Madera, it was not considered to be a special kind of wine. Only in 1986 the rulers of producing Marsala as a special kind of wine were recognized officially.
Today there are some main kinds of Marsala: oro, ambra and rubino. Marsala can be both dry and sweet. Fine Marsala is as a rule of 4-6 years of keeping (Riserva or Vergine). Marsala can be different not only because of keeping but because of a special recipe. Sometimes while making wine a producer adds even egg-white to it. In general there are a lot of different methods of producing Marsala and even some small wine farms have got their own traditional recipes which have been known for a century and a half.
Moscato or Muscatel is one more very famous sweet kind of wine. It is made of Muscatel grapes. The Lipari Islands and Panteleria are famous for their Moscato wine. They are situated near the north-west coast of Sicily. Moscato is also produced by some farms in the vicinity of Syracuse and in the valley of Noto. The sort of Moscato is Moscatello. It is sweeter because Zibibo and Corinto grapes are used to produce this wine besides Muscat grapes.
Zibibo is a kind of wine which can be called “national” in Sicily. Zibibo grapes are used for its production as well as they are used for grappa. But while producing original Zibibo they do not use spirits. Zibibo becomes strong (15-20%) because of the process of its natural fermentation. We can suppose that the recipe of Zibibo was brought to Sicily by Saracens in the 9th century.
Carricante is another famous kind of wine produced from the grapes which are grown at the slopes of Etna. The other excellent kinds of wine on Sicily are Anzolia, Grecanico, Gaglioppo and Nero D’Avola.