Flavours of Sicily Wines

At the end of the month our wine tasting and supper club will be heading south to the island of Sicily. Our new chef Nico is from this fabulous island and along with the fantastic wines from there he will be creating traditional Sicilian dishes for all to enjoy.

Symposium has brought in a new range of wines from the organic wine producer Gulfi based in the south eastern part of the island. Their vines are cultivated in the ancient districts of Pachino and Val di Noto. The Gulfi ethos is based around the legend of Eros (love) and Psyche (beauty) and their passion for each other giving rise to Voluptuousness (pleasure); the wines they produce are in essence a pure expression of pleasure. The image on the label of Gulfi wines has been taken from a mosaic of Eros and Psyche found in piazza armeria. 
The “naturalness” of Gulfi wines comes from the fruit of traditional and organic wine growing and non-invasive vinification. The essence of Sicilian vine cultivation on the slopes of Mt Etna is the cultivation of alberello or small tree vines, which are difficult to manage as all the cultivation is done manually. But this gives rise to highly refined and complex wines which are an authentic expression of the terroir they originate from.

In the north of Sicily in Faro Superiore is the vineyard of Le Casematte. Here Gianfranco Sabatino, together with Andrea Barzagli, produces the Peloro Rosso, Peloro Bianco and  Faro range of organic wines, amongst the world war bunkers over looking the straits of Messina. The terraced vineyards rise to as high as 500 meters and have a northern exposure over the sea. Due to the winds from the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas coming together over the Strait of Messina, a microclimate is created which gives high diurnal temperature swings between night and day, including during the summer, and allows the grapes to ripen without any thermal stress. Peloro Bianco is an excellent expression of the salty, mineral, crisp citrus fruit notes the terroir brings to the Grillo and Caricante grapes. The best accompaniment to salty seafood dishes you can find.

Zibibbo comes from the Arabic word “raisins”. The grape originally came from Egypt and was introduced in Pantelleria by the Phoenicians. Today the DOC on the island produces Moscato di Pantelleria a sweet dessert wine. Elsewhere the vine is cultivated by the modern cordon spur technique in areas between Erice and Mazara del Vallo in the West side of the island.