Gli Award Gold di Sicilia della guida The WineHunter

Merano, 16 agosto 2019 – La “caccia al miglior vino e prodotto gastronomico” del WineHunter Helmuth Köcher è terminata. Da oggi sono ufficiali i vincitori degli Award Rosso e Gold individuati dal fondatore di Merano WineFestival (8-12 novembre 2019) e dalle sue commissioni d’assaggio. Una selezione durata un intero anno, che si inserisce in un progetto di ricerca costante e mirata a individuare le eccellenze nel panorama vitivinicolo e gastronomico italiano. La guida, rinnovata anche nella veste grafica, è consultabile gratuitamente su award.winehunter.it Semplice e intuitiva è dotata di vari filtri per selezionare i prodotti in base alla categoria o al riconoscimento vinto.

5.800 vini degustati, di cui 2.900 scelti per essere inseriti nella guida The WineHunter Award. A vincere l’Award Rosso (da 88 a 89,99 punti) 2.400 etichette, mentre l’Award Gold (da 90 a 94,99 punti) va a 500 etichette; di queste, 100 sono candidate alla vittoria dell’Award Platinum (da 95 a 100 punti) e rappresentano la TOP 100 selected by The WineHunter. Oltre ai vini, la guida presenta le eccellenze gastronomiche suddivise nelle categorie Culinaria, Aquavitae e Beerpassion.

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Ecco i ViniBuoni d’Italia 2020: 23 sono le Corone, 13 le Golden Star di Sicilia

Ancora una volta la guida Vini Buoni d’Italia 2020 del Touring Club Italiano anticipa tutti, e come sempre noi siamo pronti a raccontarvi i vini di Sicilia meritevoli di un premio. Lo abbiamo fatto qui nel 2017, nel 2018 e lo scorso anno 2019.

Vinibuoni d'Italia

Ulteriore crescita quantitiva per quanto riguarda le Corone attribuite quest’anno ai vini Siciliani: sono infatti 23 le cantine premiate, con le conferme di Baglio del Cristo di Campobello, Barone di Villagrande, Benanti, Paolo Calì, Fazio, Firriato, Florio, Graci, Le Casematte, Marco De Bartoli, Pietradolce, Tasca d’Almerita e Tenuta di Fessina che già comparivano nella guida del 2019.

L’Etna nel 2020 si supera con sei Corone agli Etna Rosso e quattro agli Etna Bianco, in entrambi i casi raddoppiando il numero delle cantine premiate lo scorso anno.

Ecco tutte le Corone di Sicilia:

Continua a leggere “Ecco i ViniBuoni d’Italia 2020: 23 sono le Corone, 13 le Golden Star di Sicilia”

Il 26 maggio torna il Val di Noto Wine Tour

Noto, 9 maggio 2019: Le quattro aziende vitivinicole siciliane Cantina Marilina, Planeta, Ramaddini e Terre di Noto, dopo il grande successo delle altre edizioni, per il quarto anno consecutivo ripropongono, in occasione di Cantine Aperte, l’evento enoturistico più importante a livello nazionale organizzato dal Movimento Turismo del Vino, il network territoriale “Val di Noto Wine tour”.
L’idea è nata dal desiderio dei proprietari delle quattro Cantine di creare un unico gruppo per promuovere l’enoturismo nel sud est dell’isola, in particolare, e il territorio, in generale, attraverso un sistema integrato di esperienze territoriali legate a uno dei prodotti che più di tutti ne rappresenta la storia e la tradizione.

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The Wines Of Etna – Excellence from An Extreme Production Zone (Forbes)

Ancient vine in the Etna production zone (PHOTO COURTESY MARCO DE GRAZIA)

Italy is one of the world’s most distinctive wine producing countries, largely because of the predominance of indigenous varieties used in wines across the country. You’ll quite often find a particular varietal planted in only one region or even a small production zone, such as Palagrello Nero and Palagrello Bianco in the Caserta region of Campania.

When it comes to Sicily, indigenous varieties, such as Grillo, Nero d’Avola and Frappato are also part of the viticultural landscape, but so too are international varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay. Given the warm – or hot, depending on your viewpoint – temperatures and ample sunshine, just about everything ripens on the island. Continua a leggere “The Wines Of Etna – Excellence from An Extreme Production Zone (Forbes)”

I Vini Top (e le Cantine) della guida “Vini di Sicilia” 2019

Presentata al circolo Telimar di Palermo la guida «19 Vini di Sicilia», edita dal Giornale di Sicilia Editoriale Poligrafica S.p.A e da S.E.S. Società Editrice Sud s.p.a., in collaborazione con Slow Food Editore, in vendita con il Giornale di Sicilia e la Gazzetta del Sud. Oltre 100 produttori del territorio si raccontano con i loro vini tra le pagine di questo vademecum di facile consultazione.

guida ai vini siciliani, Sicilia, Società

Ecco i VINI TOP Continua a leggere “I Vini Top (e le Cantine) della guida “Vini di Sicilia” 2019″

Ecco le 4 Viti 2019 di Sicilia della Guida Vitae

La biodiversità in ambito vitivinicolo è il tema di Vitae 2019, la guida ai vini edita dall’Associazione Italiana Sommelier. L’Italia, più di ogni altro paese al mondo, vanta un patrimonio ampelografico di straordinaria ampiezza, composto da migliaia di vitigni dalle differenti peculiarità. Dalla Valle d’Aosta alla Sicilia, ogni cultivar riflette le caratteristiche della terra che la nutre: un variopinto primato che affiora tra le pagine di quest’opera corale, attraverso scorci ravvicinati di tralci e grappoli d’uva, rappresentati da vivaci tratti di colore.

Sempre ricca di contenuti, la quinta edizione della Guida Vitae è connotata da una struttura ancora più agile: la disposizione dei testi su due colonne e un impianto arioso rendono più razionale la lettura delle schede. La nuova grafica si rivela ideale sia per una rapida consultazione tecnica sia per chi desidera approfondire i contenuti.
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I Faccini di Sicilia 2019 di Doctor Wine: 96, 97 e 98/100

Ci siamo: quello che segue è l’elenco finale con la seconda e ultima parte dei premi di Doctor Wine, che segue quella dei 95/100 pubblicata la scorsa settimana. Ecco i vini  di Sicilia che in degustazione cieca sono stati premiati da Doctor Wine.

L’anno scorso erano 7 quelli segnalati con 95 centesimi, mentre quest’anno sono 5. In attesa di vedere le ulteriori valutazioni di Doctor Wine, ecco l’elenco dei 96/100: Continua a leggere “I Faccini di Sicilia 2019 di Doctor Wine: 96, 97 e 98/100”

How Nero d’Avola is shaping the future of Sicilian wine (imbibe.com)

For anyone whose main experience of islands is the Isle of Wight, Sicily comes as a bit of a shock. Admittedly, both have plenty of sea, beach and pensioners driving round on holiday. But, whereas you can cycle most of the way round the splodge in the Channel in a day (at least, you can if you’re fitter than I am), Sicily is big. And lumpy. Even if he doped himself up like Lance Armstrong, Chris Froome couldn’t get round this little beauty in 24 hours.

At 25,000 sq m, Sicily is bigger than Wales and its geography is, frankly, nuts. On the meeting point of two tectonic plates, it’s a mountainous island with no shortage of 1500m-high peaks in the central range and along the north coast.

At its eastern edge, gazing over the rest of the island like a bad tempered grandmother, is the looming, belching, grumbling presence of Mount Etna. The beach at Shanklin struggles to compete. Which – in a seamless segue – is also what Sicily was struggling to do until recently. Continua a leggere “How Nero d’Avola is shaping the future of Sicilian wine (imbibe.com)”

Tutti i Vini di Sicilia premiati dalla Guida de L’Espresso

Abbiamo scritto l’altro giorno dei vini Siciliani premiati dalle cinque bottiglie; ricapitoliamo in questo articolo le altre cantine premiate, con i loro vini, secondo la Guida de L’Espresso.

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La “guida” nella “guida” dei vini, quest’anno ha premiato per ogni tipologia, vini spumanti, bianchi, rossi, rosati, dolci, divisa in macro aree, stilando cinque classifiche: quella dei 100 migliori rossi, i 100 bianchi, i 100 spumanti, poi i 30 migliori vini dolci/passiti e i 30 rosati. 

Fra i migliori 30 migliori vini dolci di tutta Italia, il Passito di Pantelleria Bukkuram Sole d’agosto 2015 di Marco De Bartoli che ottiene le cinque bottiglie. Quattro bottiglie per Malvasia delle Lipari Na’jm 2014 di Cantine Colosi, Marsala Superiore Riserva Oro Héritage Vintage 2012 di Cantine Intorcia e Moscato di Noto Pioggia di Stelle 2012 di Cantine Marilina.

Tra i migliori 100 vini bianchi, l’Etna Bianco Arcuria 2016 di Cantine Graci che ottiene il massimo riconoscimento (le cinque bottiglie). Seguono l’Etna bianco A’ Puddara 2016 di Tenuta di Fessina, Etna Bianco di Mariagrazia 2016 di Tenuta Benedetta, Etna Bianco Sciare Vive 2017 di Vigneti Vecchio, Etna Bianco Superiore Pietramarina 2015 di Benanti, Menfi Lalùci 2017 di Baglio del Cristo di Campobello, Menfi Sur Sur 2017 di Donnafugata, Menfi Terebinto 2017 di Planeta.

Nella sezione dedicata ai rossi, massimo riconoscimento per Etna Rosso Vigna Barbagalli 2015 di Pietradolce, mentre con quattro bottiglie ci sono l’Etna Rosso San Lorenzo 2016 di Girolamo Russo, il Cerasuolo di Vittoria Docg delle Fontane 2012 di Cos e il Siccagno 2015 di Arianna Occhipinti.

Infine fra i trenta migliori rosati d’Italia, l’Etna Rosato di Martinella di Cantine Vivera.

Sicily – A Wine Region That’s An Island Apart (Forbes)

Sicily has many positive images (as well as a few not-so-positive), but when it comes to Sicilian wines, the subject is a bit of a puzzle to many. There are several reasons for this, but lately, producers in select areas such as Vittoria, Noto and Etna are crafting some pretty special products that are receiving a lot of attention and changing the mindset of consumers and the wine trade about the wines of Sicily.

Perhaps the most positive notion of Sicily is that everyone knows the name, and anyone can find it on a map of Italy; this last point is certainly not true with some of the country’s regions such as Abruzzo, Marche or Emilia-Romagna. So familiarity helps gets Sicilian producers get a foot in the door in the market, but unfortunately the identity of this region’s wines has for too long been one of sub-par quality.

This is based on the notion that Sicily is not a place to produce wines of elegance and finesse; the hot climate leads to lower acidity, meaning the wines lack structure and freshness. Add to that the fact that for decades, most table wine that emerged from the region was little more than bulk wine; flavorful, yet heavy, these wines were often shipped in tankers to other parts of Italy to “beef up” lighter red wines.

In fact, the history of quality for Sicilian wines in previous years was primarily focused on Marsala, one of the world’s most highly praised fortified wines, made in several styles, from very dry to medium-sweet. Yet even given the renown for the finest examples of Marsala, the strongest image with this wine for many consumers is for cooking, as with Veal Marsala or Chicken Marsala, hardly the stuff of greatness.

Antonio Rallo, proprietor of Donnafuagata Winery, one of Sicily’s most famous producers (PHOTO COURTESY OF DONNAFUGATA)

About 40 years ago, a few producers decided to do something about the image of Sicilian wines, so production of bulk wine was decreased – although it is still a large part of the region’s wine industry – and planting of international varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah were undertaken. Add to this a new focus on indigenous varieties such as Grillo and Carricante for white and Nero d’Avola and Frappato for red, and all of a sudden, the Sicilian wine pallete was aglow with a multitiude of colors and flavors.

Talk to enough Sicilian producers and you’ll learn they believe that Sicily is a magical place to make wine, as it is such a distinctive land. “The climate, the countryside, the customs, the terroir and its varieties are very different from other regions,” says Alessio Planeta, co-proprietor of his family’s winery, one of the region’s greatest ambassadors.

Alessio Planeta, co-proprietor of Planeta Winery, one of the best known of all Sicilian wine estates (PHOTO COURTESY PLANETA WINERY)

The weather, though it may be hot, does assure that almost anything can grow on the island. “Sicily is regarded a place that can grow almost any grape presenting an extraordinary patrimony of biodiversity with over 70 indigenous grape varieties,” comments Antonio Rallo of Donnafugata, another renowned Sicilian wine estate. “This is why people describe Sicily as a wine continent.

Given its viticultural history skewed toward workman-like wine, it is no surprise that there has not been an iconic Sicilian wine, such as Brunello di Montalcino from Tuscany, Barolo and Barbaresco from Piemonte or Amarone from the Veneto. While this may have meant a lack of media attention toward Sicilian wines, the renaissance that started 40 years ago and continues today, has resulted in exciting new ventures and paths of the region’s viticulture. “Sicily is in a constant acquisition of auto renewal,” says Planeta. There is an improvement in knowledge and awareness of our terroirs, as well as among ourselves.”

Today, the wines of the Etna District in northeastern Sicily, are the ones that garner the greatest attention. “Etna is the hot ticket for driving Sicily’s quality image, both in Italy and abroad, with its cooler climate, volcanic contenders red Nerello Mascalese and white Carricante having attracted much global attention among sommeliers and independent merchants,” Rallo remarks. Planeta agrees, commenting, “Etna has the magic at the moment and is a positive thing for all of the island.”

The wines of Etna are something of a minor miracle given the rocky soils of volcanic ash and pumice that were formed by lava flow from the nearby volcano. It’s a difficult venture for a grape grower, notes Giuseppe Tornatore of the eponymous Etna estate. “It takes a lot of patience and dedication because what elsewhere is done in one year, it is done in two years in Etna. It takes a lot of sacrifice, suffering always the magnetism of the volcano and everything that depends on it.

Examples of Etna Bianco are made primarily with the local Carricante grape and have various characteristics, with some offering melon and pear fruit, while others display distinct minerality, even resembling the wines of Chablis in Burgundy. Overall, the best of these whites have shown tremendous improvement in a very short period of time.

It is the reds however that are most famous, made from the indigenous Nerello Mascalese variety. These wines have been called “Italy’s Burgundies,” and no wonder given the appealing cherry and sometimes strawberry aromas and its sleek finish. Some producers have opted as of late for a more powerful style of Etna Rosso that is more tannic (almost like a Nebbiolo-based wine from Piedmont), but this dual identity only adds to the allure of the red wines of Etna.

Planeta Winery near Noto, one of several wine facilities of the company (PHOTO COURTESY OF PLANETA WINERY)

Arguably the best-known red from Sicily over the past twenty years has been Nero d’Avola, an indigenous variety. Its popularity is due to its appealing black cherry and plum fruit backed by relatively smooth tannins. Sicilian producers love it, as it also works well when blended with other red varieties such as Merlot and Syrah.

The Duca di Salaparuta winery bottled the first monovarietal Nero d’Avola they named “Duca Enrico” back in 1984; today this is still regarded as one of the best examples of this variety. Other classic examples include the “Mille e Una Notte” from Donnafugata (about 90% Nero d’Avola) and the “Santa Cecilia” from Planeta, labeled as Noto DOC. This last wine, initially made in the 1997 vintage, has become a classic example of Nero d’Avola structured for aging, as 12 and 15-year old bottles are still drinking well.

Another red that has become successful over the past few years is Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato. Cerasuolo means “cherry like”; this fruit emerges in the aromas, along with red and orange rose perfumes, and there are soft, silky tannins, thanks to the Frappato. Here is a red that tastes great when chilled for 15-20 minutes, and given the lightness of the tannins, it is ideal with duck breast, chicken in red wine or even tuna. Top examples include the Feudi del Pisciotto “Giambattista Valli”, the “Floramundi” from Donnafugata, and the alluring, ultra delicious “Dorilli” from Planeta.

Briefly on whites, Grillo is an indigenous variety that for years was used in the production of Marsala. But on its own, it has appealing exotic fruit aromas and pairs well with a variety of foods, from poultry to lighter seafood; look for the examples from Valle dell’Acate and the “Sur Sur” from Donnafugata.

There are countless other whites that I can recommend, from the 100% Fiano from Planeta known as “Cometa,” a sumptuous, dry white that is among Italy’s best, as well as “Lighea” a dry Zibibbo (Moscato) from Donnafugata, and the Tasca d’Almerita “Contea di Sclafani” Chardonnay. There are countless treasures – white, red and sweet – throughout Sicily – and the best producers there are diligent in their efforts to take the region’s wines to the next step, as Planeta remarks. “We are past the period of experimentation and are now in a period of increasing our knowledge of our terroirs. We are uniting the results of past years with a studious attention of tradition.

The rest of this interesting article and the notes on current releases are here.