4 days – 3 nights
In a trip to the Aeolian islands around the second half of 18th century Alexander Dumas’ father, a French man of refined taste wrote: “… a bottle of Malvasia delle Lipari was brought, it was the most excellent wine I had ever tasted in my life …” the Malvasia is undoubtedly one of the most typical of the products made in the Aeolian islands, specifically on the island of Salina.
In its this vineyards the Malvasia wine is produced, a wine of such high quality and excellence to be named the “nectar of the gods, appreciated and exported all over the world. You can not visit Salina and leave without having first tasted the Malvasia, a DOP Sicilian wine made from Malvasia delle Lipari grape (95%) and Black Corinth (5%). Malvasia is golden in colour and has an intense, delicately sweet bouquet which matches perfectly with cheese, fois gras, ice-creams and desserts. There are two types of Malvasia delle Lipari DOC: passito and natural.
It is a volcanic wine, thick, sugary, golden… » as the French novelist Guy de Maupassant wrote in «A Wandering Life».
The volcanic origins of the Aeolian islands left a sensational heritage of jagged, rocky coastlines and black-sand beaches, spaced out by smouldering craters and an incredible fertile and mineral soil where still the nectar of the gods is produced.
In 2000, the Aeolian islands were entitled UNESCO World Heritage Site. Incredibly varied and of an astonishing beauty, the Aeolian archipelago consists of seven islands (Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi and Panarea) and five small islets (Basiluzzo, Dattilo, Lisca Nera, Bottaro and Lisca Bianca) in the vicinity of Panarea.
The background is so charming and fascinating, that it even inspired the Greek mythology. In fact, Greek settlers named the archipelago after Aeolus, god of the winds. An irresistible piece of paradise, a magical outdoor background offering a wide range of emotions and excitement at every turn.
The ideal place where to relax and sip the nectar of the gods.
Day 1 – Lipari
Morning departure to Lipari via Milazzo and hydrofoil. Lipari is the biggest of the seven islands and boasts an ideal mix of culture, beaches, clear waters, trekking trails and archaeological sites. Our first stop is the only winery in this island. On the Plateau of Castellaro they have recovered a large area at 350 meters above sea level where we produce our reds, a white and blush IGP (protected geographical indication) wine. The vineyards they call home are in numerous plots scattered throughout the island of Lipari. Walking through their vineyards one notes that the soils are rich in Pumice and Obsidian. These are two sides of the same coin, basically the same stone. Erupted at different temperatures, the first becomes white and light, while the second black and sharp.
A walking tour of the historical centre, the Rocca (the rock) with the ruins of the castle and the archaeological museum is a must before heading to Salina by hydrofoil.
Day 2 – Salina
Named as the “garden” of Aeolian Islands, unearthing this ideal place where to taste capers and Malvasia wine, the so-called “nectar of the gods”.
Let’ s start the day with a visit to Virgona winery, whose vineyards are located in the fertile area on alfa hill, in the north of the island. Go for a guided vineyard/winery tour and tasting of estate wines from Grillo, Moscato, Nero d’Avola and international variety.
We’ll move then to a close estate and listen to the history of a famous Sicilian noble family who made the history of wine in Sicily. Thirty years ago they bought 15 acres at Capofaro to plant Malvasia and produce the famous nectar of the gods in its sweet version as well as in its dry version.
Lunch will be a journey through the Made in Sicily products including home cooked dishes using traditional recipes from stories inherited with the goal to tell the story of the territory and of the soul of the family.
The rest of the day is at leisure to spend in your beautiful resort, enjoy the landscape and sip a glass of Malvasia.
Day 3 – Salina
Today, let’s start discovering the island wineries’ highlights from Barone di Villarande estate. This winery boasts a historic cellar on Mt Etna and a small estate and a small and functioning cantina on the island of Salina, perfectly integrated with the architecture of the Aeolian Island landscape. The entire facility is no larger than 70m2 and is entirely dedicated to the production of only one wine: Malvasia delle Lipari Passito. The most important area is the wide terrace (more than 500m2), used for the withering of the grapes in direct sunlight.
Next is Hauner winery, whose fundation relies on a tourist falling in love with the island. In a typical Aeolian style, here the prince of the Aeolian culture is produced, the Malvasia. A guided vineyard/winery tour and tasting will start featuring wines from Inzolia, Catarratto, Grecanico, Grillo, Malvasia and Nerello Mascalese, Nocera, Corinto, Alicante, international varieties, and the estate’s Passito styles.
In the nearby hamlet of Lingua a stop at Alfredo’s is a must to wash your mounth with something you cannot miss to taste. A triumph of colors and flavors, the bar opened in 1958 renowned since then for its granite: ices made with coffee, fresh fruit or locally grown pistachios and almonds. It’s also worth a visit for its pane cunzato, open-faced sort of sandwiches piled high with tuna, ricotta, eggplant, tomatoes, capers and olives. You may decide to challenge yourself with one or split it with a friend – they’re huge!
Day 4 – Arrivederci!
Morning at leisure. You may decide to enjoy additional nights in Salina or in any other of the Aeolian Islands or take an hydrofoil back to Milazzo and the main island.
Meal legend: B (breakfast) L (lunch) D (dinner)
General info: “The Aeolian Islands Wine Tour” is an escorted trip designed to create a good comfort and let participants enjoy the experience at best. Accommodation provided is first-class, strategically located. The food is always typically local, with a blend of regional delicacies and top wines. Transportation is top quality.
Your wine guide is qualified, pleasant and with a long experience in the wine sector.
Ben studied Viticulture, Enology, and Wine Theory with the University of California at Davis and hold a Diploma from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. After working in the California wine business he moved in Sicily, settling on Mt Etna area.
Please, note that for organizational/logistical reasons we reserve the right to change daily schedule and wineries thus maintaining the high level profile of the tour.
Departures & Prices:
2016 tours are upon request for groups of travel companions.
Please, ask for scheduled departure dates and prices for 2017
Flights: we generally recommend that our travellers to arrive one day before the trip starts in order to get their bearings and ease in to the new surroundings.
Travel Services: we would be happy to assist travellers in case of any further services: i.e. pre-post nights in Sicily, Amalfi Coast or Malta. Do not hesitate to ask for info.