The magnificent island of Sicily is the largest region in Italy as well as the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is most assuredly an area of extreme conditions. In addition to its size, Sicily boasts the highest volcano in all of Europe, Mount Etna, at nearly 11,000 feet above sea level.
The fertile volcanic soil in this area has led to the overwhelmingly successful cultivation of grapes for nearly 4,000 years. With vineyards on Mount Etna and the Madonie Mountains, reaching 3,200 feet above seal level, Sicily is also home to some of the highest vineyards in all of Europe. The vast majority of these vineyards are located close enough to the coast to benefit from the cooling winds of the sea that provide relief from the hot dry weather on the island.
The alignment of these natural elements, consistently make Sicily one of the top volume producers of wine in Italy annually, second only to Puglia. For the past 200 years the region has been known for its popular Marsala wine, however in recent years, it has been gaining accolades for its white varietals such as Catarratto, Inzolia and Grillo and its red wines Nero D’Avola and Perricone.
Today, the majority of their wine is produced by co-operatives as opposed to individual families. The production of white wine far exceeds the red, which is not surprising given that the local cuisine is heavily based on seafood.