Your Next Lesson: Etna Bianco

Once again Eric Asimov teaches about Sicilian wines to the American readers of The New York Times. Yesterday it has been published a nice introduction to Carricante and Etna Bianco. Here you can see part of this article:

In the last few years, Sicily and Mount Etna in particular have become well known for their red wines, particularly those made of the nerello mascalese grape, which we drank back in 2016.

This time, we will look at the white wines of Mount Etna, known as Etna Bianco. These wines are made largely, sometimes entirely, of carricante. As with so many Italian grapes, it was little known and little appreciated until the last 10 or 15 years, when winemakers began to show just how good carricante could be.

Continue reading “Your Next Lesson: Etna Bianco”

On An Ancient Sicilian Island, Heroic Farming Produces A Singular Sweet Wine (Forbes)

Forbes is one of the best known American business magazines; today it has been published an interesting interview to Antonio Rallo to speak about Ben Ryé.

Continue reading “On An Ancient Sicilian Island, Heroic Farming Produces A Singular Sweet Wine (Forbes)”

Scenario Siciliano: Baglio di Pianetto

the drunken cyclist

A few weeks ago, I started chronicling my press trip to Sicily, the almost mystical island off the toe of Italy. We started the week on the East side of the island, navigating around  Mount Etna, the active volcano that influences every aspect of life.

On Day Two of the trip, we headed to Caverna Etnea, the Firriato estate that is just a few kilometers from the volcano.

Day 3, we visited Pietradolce, and Day 4 took us to Baglio di Pianetto, the closest winery to Palermo, the capital of Sicily.

There were a few aspects to teaching High School that I did not enjoy: interactions with parents (particularly those whose children were not faring well in my class—rarely would they hold their offspring even a bit at fault), writing end of term comments on every student, and when prospective students would come to observe my class.

I…

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The 5 Most Read Stories of 2017 (Vini di Sicilia)

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Here are the most-read Vinidisicilia.blog stories published in 2017:

  1. 7 Bottles that Put Sicily on the Map of Trendy Wine Regions (Food & Wine)
  2. 6 Top Sicilian Wines You Need To Try
  3. Top20 Wines of Sicily 2016
  4. Top 10 Nero d’Avola 2017 according to Wine Searcher
  5. The Top10 of Etna Bianco (Wine Searcher)

If you like to review them of if you missed these posts, enjoy your reading!

Top 10 Nero d’Avola 2017 according to Wine Searcher

Beacause of the last year’s success, we do it again!

We have browsed on Wine Searcher to see which are the wines of Sicily that are most searched around the world. Analyzing the data of Wine Searcher, we start again this year from a grape that  in the world is undoubtedly linked to our wines: Nero d’Avola.

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This is the complete list: Continue reading “Top 10 Nero d’Avola 2017 according to Wine Searcher”

Heroes of the Sicilian wine expedition (The Australian)

Italy has always been my playground in the wine world. With a spine of mountains running down the length of country, Italy offers the oenophile an opportunity without parallel to explore a plethora of wine from varying aspects, altitudes and microclimates. Exciting times are ahead for the Italian wine industry, and Sicily stands at the forefront.

20171106_154425.jpg Continue reading “Heroes of the Sicilian wine expedition (The Australian)”

This versatile Italian red is Sicily’s answer to Pinot noir (VinePair)

Put down the Pinot Noir and step away from the corkscrew. There’s a new light red in town, and — I’m going to say it —it’s better.

Nerello Mascalese isn’t some sommelier favorite that’s hard to pronounce and impossible to find outside of hipster wine bars. It’s the people’s grape of Mount Etna, Sicily, and one of the few varieties that have survived centuries of trends, phylloxera, and volcanic eruptions.

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L’Etna by Guido Borelli

Sicily is no stranger to grapevines, but most of the island’s modern winemaking has focused on bulk production and sweet Marsala. While certain growers were caving to economic pressures and replanting ancient vineyards with high-yielding varieties destined for bulk wine, Nerello Mascalese continued to silently thrive. A longtime local favorite, it’s also getting its due beyond the confines of the Mediterranean’s largest island. Continue reading “This versatile Italian red is Sicily’s answer to Pinot noir (VinePair)”

An Offer He Couldn’t Refuse (Wine Spectator)

Paolo Caciorgna, the acclaimed Tuscan enologist who makes wines for stellar estates like Montalcino’s Altesino and La Serena as well as for music stars Sting and Andrea Bocelli, never planned to make wine on Sicily’s Mount Etna.

But 15 years ago, longtime friend and American importer Marco de Grazia invited Caciorgna to his newly founded Tenute delle Terre Nere on the volcano’s north-facing slopes. Continue reading “An Offer He Couldn’t Refuse (Wine Spectator)”

Gaja and Graci gear up for their First Etna Harvest (Indian Wine Academy)

Sep 15: The new Sicilian joint venture of the ‘Prince of Piedmont’ and the Wine Enthusiast Man of the year Angelo Gaja and the Etna producer Alberto Graci, is getting ready for the first harvest next month, to be fermented at Graci’s winery in the village of Passopisciaro on the north slope of Mount Etna and sold through Gaja Distribuzione, the distribution arm of Gaja family
Click For Large ViewI met Angelo Gaja, the iconic producer of Gaja wines in Piedmont with wineries also in Bolgheri and Montalcino in Tuscany, in 2002When I met the Man from Barbaresco, in 2003 at the Ca’Marcanda  winery in Bolgheri and asked him if he had plans of buying more wineries, Gaja told me he had several offers from foreign producer to collaborate but he declined because he liked to have the vines always under his nose so he could monitor the grape quality.

While interviewing him at his winery in Barbaresco in June 2009, he said, ‘I am still getting offers every week but I still feel the same. Besides, now I am not that young. The kids have grown up. They have to decide. If they want to do it they can go ahead.’ He was then 69 years old, at an age where most men think of retiring. But he was focussing on shaping his daughters Gaia and Rossana who are now totally involved in the business along with younger brother Giovanni.

Retiring Gaja?

While reporting the Vertical Tasting of top-ended Gaja wine Sorì San Lorenzo 1971-2011 in November 2014, Antonio Galloni, the American expert on Italian wines, wrote, “Angelo and Lucia Gaja’s children, Gaia, Rossana and Giovanni, are now increasingly involved in the family business. Generational succession is the single greatest challenge facing Piedmont’s wineries today. If Angelo and Lucia Gaja can take their hands off their estate, to their children and give them the freedom to make decisions, they will succeed where so many others before them have failed.”

The succession seemed to be complete when the siblings brought back the IGT single vineyards iconic wines like Sori San Lorenzo into the DOCG Barbaresco fold with his blessings and Gaia Gaja so admitting.

Therefore it came as a surprise in April this year when, at the age of 77 and almost 50 years after taking reins of the family winery, Angelo announced stepping beyond the mainland Italy (both Montalcino and Bolgheri in Tuscany are at a motorable distance from his home in Barbaresco) and going to the volcanic Etna region in Sicily. And for the first time he decided to partner outside the family in a business venture when he chose to collaborate with Alberto Graci (pronounced  Gra-chi) as his equal joint venture partner to buy vineyards and set up a separate winery.

Continue reading “Gaja and Graci gear up for their First Etna Harvest (Indian Wine Academy)”

Marsala’s Barrel Makers

Alice in Wonderlands

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Li Causi barrel at Tasca’s Regaleali estate

I had first seen the Li Causi logo a few months ago, stamped onto a barrel at Tasca’s Regaleali estate. The image is of a man hammering rings of metal onto a wooden barrel. I took a photo of it, with a mental note to research the company. I didn’t, time got away from me and I forgot about the little hammering man…until last week.

Honestly, barrels aren’t something that I often think about. I should though–they are used in the fermentation and aging of the majority of big reds, also a number of white wines too. Each seemingly insignificant stage of the barrel making process will affect the final result of the wine: from the age of the wood to the level of ‘toasting’. Tasca ages some of their wines in Li Causi barrels: the results are fantastic. The Riserva Del Conte…

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