Between 1786 and 1788 German philosopher Johann Wolfgang Goethe travelled throughout Italy. He then wrote his book titled, in Italian, Viaggio in Italia—or, Italian Journey. After passing through Verona, Venice, Rome and Naples he explored the island of Sicily, and wrote that in order to understand the entire country of Italy, ‘Sicily is the clue to everything.’
Italy is divided into 20 administrative regions—the southernmost being the island of Sicily. The region contains both eight percent of Italy’s land area as well as eight percent of the nation’s total population. The east of the island is distinguished by the largest active volcano in Italy—Mount Etna.
When he viewed Mount Etna in early May, Goethe remarked how ‘snow extends widely around the mountain and presents insurmountable obstacles,’ and noted how locals recommended that he ride by horseback to see remnants of the famed volcanic eruption of 1669, when magma flowed all the way to the city of Catania—10 miles (16 kilometers) away. Since that time when Goethe witnessed those gnarled volcanic slopes and published his book, the topography of Etna has continued to change. Another eruption in 1852 produced more than 2 billion cubic feet (56 million cubic meters) or debris that covered three square miles (7.7 square kilometers) of land, while in 1979 an eruption began that lasted 13 years.
(Publication of Goethe’s book—incidentally—apparently influenced a number of German winemakers to move to the eastern part of Sicily, where they practiced viticulture on the slopes of Etna.)
In ancient Rome, Sicilian wine was among the most prestigious wines of its era. It received the equivalent of “5 star accolades” by Pliny the Elder, the Robert Parker of his day.
Yet only recently is Sicilian wine regaining its former glory. This is due in large part to the efforts of Assovini Sicilia, a group of quality-minded producers dedicated to promoting Sicilian wine.
Sicilian Wine Today
The producers of Assovini Sicilia come from many different wine-producing areas of Sicily and make wine from a variety of native and international grapes. The majority of the producers come from families who have been making wine for generations, though this was typically for personal use.
Starting from the mid-1980s, these producers (or their parents) realized the unique terroir of their family vineyards. A classic example is that of Giuseppe Benanti. Like many of his contemporaries, he graduated university and embarked on a professional career outside of wine.
Catania 13 giugno 2019 – Torna Drink Pink in Sicily, la grande festa sui Rosati siciliani, dal Vulcano ai tre valli. Dopo il successo dell’anno scorso, l’imprenditrice e sommelier Gea Calì ripropone l’evento dedicato al vino rosato siciliano, lunedì 24 giugno al SAL – Spazio avanzamento lavori di Catania.
Palermo, 11 giugno – Due eccellenze siciliane, due aziende fortemente legate all’Isola – entrambe figlie di testardi sognatori siciliani – insieme per dare vita ad un percorso enogastronomico d’eccezione.
L’azienda Marco De Bartoli e l’azienda Charleston si incontrano per la prima volta per rendere omaggio ai suoi fondatori, a coloro che con tenacia e determinazione continuano a sognare portando avanti la propria storia. E lo fanno nel modo che gli è più familiare: provando ad emozionare attraverso la degustazione dei propri vini e dei propri piatti.