Sicily has been called the gateway to Europe or a land that straddles two continents, as it sits on the collision point between the tectonic plates of Eurasia and Africa. It’s a melting pot of cultures and people, the home of many Italian-Americans’ ancestors, and it’s one of the most exciting places for food and wine in the entire world.
It is at this collision point that we find Mt. Etna, one of the most nutrient-rich places on the planet, an ideal place for growing high-quality grapes that produce some of the most sought-after wine in the world, wine that is beginning to rival even the great Burgundy in quality. But Etna is also one of the most destructive places on earth to make wine, as this active volcano could blow at any moment, claiming all of the prized vineyards in its wake. In a flash, all that was built can be destroyed. The winemakers at Graci and Tornatore know this all too well.
At the center of the island you’ll find a land that looks similar to scenes you may be familiar with from “The Godfather,” but while you may think this land is dry and arid, it is actually home to some of the most approachable red, white, and rose wines you will come across, including those from Regaleali, a historic estate that has protected and championed the indigenous grape varieties of the island, like Nero d’Avola, Catarratto, Perricone (typical of the area), Nerello Mascalese, and Grillo.
Finally if you head to the coast you can find the wines of Planeta, considered the ambassador of Sicilian wines abroad. Without Planeta, one could argue there would be no Sicilian wine.
You’ll discover all this and more on this episode of Sip Trip.