Our Sicily luxury tour include wine adventures.
Bacchus, god of wine, was magnanimous and generous with Sicily, giving it a fertile land for viticulture and a variety of autochthon red and white grape such as Nero d’Avola, Perricone, Nerello Cappuccio, Nerello Mascalese, Frappato, Inzolia, Carricante, Cataratto, Caricante Grillo, Malvasia delle Lipari.
Wine has been made in Sicily for millennia: brought by the Phoenicians, the first trace of vine growing in the island is found in the Greek colony of Naxos, recorded in the 5th century image of an ivy-crowned and bearded Dionysus, the Greek for Bacchus. Around 588 b.C. the Greeks also imported in island of Salina, part the Aeolian archipelago, the Malvasia grape and nowadays the Malvasia delle Lipari is still produced as an excellent dessert wine.
Wine history in Sicily is long and rich and if Sicily were a nation, it would rank on the first ten positions in the world in wine production!
For centuries, only a small percentage of the wine produced was bottled as Sicily wine, the majority shipped for blending with Italian and French wines or sold as “table wine”, the so called vino da tavola for daily consumption, or been distilled for industrial alcohol.
A decisive period in Sicily wine history is 1773 when the English entrepreneur John Woodhouse landed at the port of Marsala and discovered the local wine aged in wooden casks which tasted similar to the Portuguese and Spanish fortified wines very popular in England at that time. He recognized that the in perpetuum process, similar to the solera system used to produce the Sherry in Spain, raised the alcohol level of the local wine thus preserving its characteristics during the long distance sea travel to England. Woodhouse’s genius proved to be successful and in 1796 he began the Marsala wine mass production and commercialization, soon followed by other English entrepreneurs, such as the Inghams and Whitakers, until the arrival of the Italian Vincenzo Florio towards the end of the 19th century. He bought up great portions of land to make his own vintage, purchased Woodhouse’s firm and consolidated the Marsala wine industry.
For most of the 1900, Sicily continued to produce enormous quantities of wine usually destined to be exported and blended to wine made elsewhere in the wine world. Only in the last 30 years enormous changes have affected the island’s wine culture, thanks to a new generation of winemakers who have realized the full potential of the island’s enviable climate and fertile soil lays on its autochthonous grape varieties.
This winning philosophy has been constantly proved by many international prizes won by Sicilian producers, so that we can now proudly confirm some of Italy’s finest wines are now being made in Sicily.
Our Sicily wine trips are designed with a concrete expertise of Sicily as a wine region and with the benefit of many years of experience of what makes a great tour, one of ours Sicily luxury trip.
Wine trips in Sicily are a world to discover.
Vineyards extending for hectares and hectares on the slopes of Mt Etna, the valleys of Noto and Ragusa area, the gentle hills of Trapani and Palermo, the plain of Marsala. Wineries of ancient tradition where the smell of the must conveys at the same time the value of tradition and modern ways of production. Local people proud of their jobs, devoted to their land and with memories and stories to tell.
Visits to wine estates, wineries and cellar will please your Sicily wine experience. With a glass of their wine in your hands, you will meet local vignerons and winemakers and talk over their views for vine growing and wine production. As a wine lover you will share technical information and tasting techniques but most of all you will experience friendly moments drinking Sicilian wines with your travel companions and hosts, tasting local food deliciously matched to the wines.
As we think that wine means both agriculture and culture our Sicily wine trips always include remarkable elements of exploring: enchanting landscapes, important monuments and archaeological sites, hidden pearls, gourmet and regional food, cooking classes, boisterous markets, pastry shops and ultimate food experiences. Standout wine resorts all around the island will be, where possible, the perfect place to stay.
All our Sicily wine tours are designed by Doriana and Ben.
Doriana is our managing director, she is a professional sommelier holding a Diploma from AIS, The Italian Association of Sommelier.
Ben, AIWS/DWS, is our wine guide. After working in the California wine business he moved in Sicily, settling on Mt Etna area.
Within our signature luxury trips, our Sicily wine trips are always a pure world of Sicilian style.