Etna’s Eruption (Wine Spectator)

Driving along the northern flanks of Sicily’s Mount Etna some weeks ago, I noticed how much the wine scene there has changed in the past decade.

I’d come for the 11th edition of Contrade dell’Etna, a wine event that’s part barrel tasting of the recent harvest and part Sicilian party.

Etna was nowhere 10 or 11 years ago,” said Andrea Franchetti, founder of Passopisciaro winery and creator of the event, which opened early morning on the grounds of an ornate 19th-century villa. “Now producers come from Northern Italy to see what’s going on, and some start making wine. Continue reading “Etna’s Eruption (Wine Spectator)”

From the Savory Side, the Salty Carricantes of Sicily (The New York Times)

Great lesson about Etna Biancos in the Wine School of Eric Asimov, on The New York Times:

To describe a wine as “salty” may not seem like much of a compliment. Yet it can be high praise indeed.

Some of the world’s greatest wines have a distinct saline tang. In France, where the vocabulary for describing wine dwarfs the capacity of English, to remark on a wine’s “salinité” is to toss a welcome though perhaps voguish verbal bouquet.

In my experience, few wines demonstrate this notion of salinity as well as the whites in the Etna Bianco category, made largely or entirely from carricante grapes grown in the foothills of Mount Etna in Sicily. They are marked by a distinctive savory tang that the winemakers will tell you is blown in by the salty wind off the Mediterranean.

Here at Wine School, where for the last month we have been drinking Etna Biancos, we prize savory wines. We also recognize that they are likely to be an acquired taste, especially for palates honed in the United States.

Continue reading “From the Savory Side, the Salty Carricantes of Sicily (The New York Times)”

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.

Nero_d_Avola_web

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)”