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Some more about Sicilian Wine

Some dessert wines

In previous posts, we discussed several of our organic Sicilian wines and their grapes. Free wine samples in Ireland from Sicily are hard to find but remember we supply them nationwide. Here are some other Sicilian grapes which are also worth knowing about. One is Malvasia. In fact, this refers to a group of grape varieties. They grow not just in Sicily, but elsewhere in Italy, Spain, Croatia and the New World.  A particular variety, Malvasia delle Lipari grows on the volcanic Aeolian Islands off the northeast of Sicily.  It makes a luscious and voluptuous dessert wine.

Another sumptuous dessert wine derives from the Zibbibo grape. This comes from Pantelleria, also a  volcanic island but lying between Tunisia and the west coast of Sicily.  Zibbibo is Arabic but the grape shows its middle eastern origin in its other name Muscat of Alexandria.  Though nearer Tunisia, Pantelleria is administratively part of the northwestern Sicilian province of Trapani. This grape also produces fine Rutherglen in Australia and Setubal in Portugal.

Rare Sicilian Grapes

Some distinguished Sicilian winemakers such as Palari of Messina use obscure grapes such as Acitana and Tignolino.  They blend with Nero d’Avola and other red grapes to produce rich and full-bodied table wines. Recently, the Marsala branch of the University of Palermo rediscovered six indigenous red and white grape varieties thought extinct. The trend for innovation will continue in Sicily as winemakers are now experimenting with these grapes.

A Sicilian Late Harvest Wine

Back to sweeter wine.  As well as these lesser-known grapes there also some unusual uses of common grapes in Sicily. Oro di Casa from Milazzo is an iteration of Inzolia to make a dessert wine. This is a Vendemmia Tardiva or Late Harvest wine obtained by leaving the grapes on the vine to concentrate the sugar content.  From the Ninotta and Milici areas of the vineyards, the grapes ripen slowly. Maturing in oak barriques for some 5 years, in stainless steel for between six and twelve months and finally in bottle for at least 6 months.  The resulting wine has the finest aromatic notes of fruit and jam and would be wonderful with any dessert.

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