A Tour of Sicily
by Anthony Lynch
Only two miles separate Sicily from the Italian mainland at the Strait of Messina, but the largest Italian region feels like a whole different continent. A wild and exotic mystique defines Sicily’s sprawling landscapes, its fiercely independent people, and even its cuisine—the consequence of being isolated in the Mediterranean and subject to constantly changing rulership over the course of its long, convoluted history.
Viticulture has thrived here since wine-savvy Greek settlers arrived in the eighth century BC—their first landing point in Italy, and their gateway to the rest of Western Europe. Long dominated by mass production of bulk wine to be shipped north and blended, the island’s wine scene is currently enjoying a renaissance, as numerous small growers honor traditional wine styles from indigenous grapes to craft clean, elegant, and terroir-driven wines.
Sicily’s assets are abundant sunshine, an arid climate that facilitates organic viticulture, and a richness of local grape varieties and unique growing zones that give rise to a number of distinct wines. The new arrivals below represent three of the island’s top crus—Vittoria, Eloro, and Etna—in which its most characterful red grapes (Frappato, Nero d’Avola, and Nerello Mascalese) respectively give their best. With our Sicilian selections, you can discover that wild exoticism and taste centuries of tradition in your glass.