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Feature Region - Sicily

Feature Region - Sicily

Feature Region Sicily

Thanks to the Greeks, Sicilians have been making wine since 4000BC, so just a little longer than us Aussies, then. The Mediterranean climate and diverse landscape has contributed to much of the success of Sicily’s wines, creating near-perfect growing conditions with very little threat of disease or rot. Opportunists saw the potential to harness these optimum growing conditions to create a bulk wine market, which has muddied Sicily’s reputation as a quality wine producer. However, we have faith, nay, proof, that Sicily can create some of the world’s most special wines from this exceptional Italian island – the largest in the Mediterranean, may we add.

VOLCANIC VINEYARDS

Besides having as much topographical diversity as many countries, Sicily’s wine growing regions have unique selling points and benefits due to their own microclimates and ancient geologies. Moreover, the climate means that Sicilian wines are particularly well-placed for organic farming, a classification gaining traction worldwide, yet isn’t always top-of-mind for producers from other European regions.

Infusing the Spirit

Perhaps the best example of Sicily’s uniqueness is the mighty Mount Etna, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, which provides fertile soils that has become one of the more interesting wine regions in the world. Wines from Etna profile the region’s unique (and sometimes dangerous) terroir, with volcanic rock being a common tasting note. Perhaps there’s no other Etna producer quite as intriguing as Frank Cornelissen, a Belgian whose lo-fi winemaking, diverse plantings in the vineyard and ‘outdoor winery’ has given rise to some of the most sought-after natural wines imaginable.

While wines from Italy tend not to be under such stringent rules as those in France, they do have their own classification systems that denote quality and guarantee of regional production. There is only one Sicilian wine that has been granted the highest classification DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) – Cerasuolo di Vittoria – a blend of two of Sicily’s most famous grapes – Nero d’Avola and Frappato. There are 23 other Sicilian wines that fall under the lower DOC classification, yet it’s sometimes those that fall between the cracks of the oft over-politicised official classifications that gain the reputation as being a must-have cult wine.
It’s these must-have cult wines that we care about most when finding Sicilian wines to feature on Sometimes Always, regardless of classification. We want to show off Sicily in all its Mediterranean, volcanic glory and tell the stories of the producers who have reshaped the region for the better, by taking things right back to basics and making wines not too differently from what they would have done in 4000BC. Okay, perhaps a little more sophisticated, but organic, handcrafted wines and focus on infusing the spirit of each individual site in a bottle is what we are most interested in.

These are wines that tell a unique story that are impossible to just drink and forget. They inspire conversation, spark debate and make you want to learn more about the people behind the label. Like the island itself, they are rustic, romantic and a little unpredictable. It’s no wonder the global reputation of Sicilian wines have erupted in recent years.

Pun absolutely intended.
These are wines that tell a unique story that are impossible to just drink and forget. They inspire conversation, spark debate and make you want to learn more about the people behind the label.

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