In recent years the interest and excitement for Sicilian wines have been on the rise. That wasn’t always the case as Sicily has had a history of producing bulk wines. Over the last 30 years, the landscape has changed dramatically for Sicilia DOC, winemakers have emphasized unique sites and terroir which has resulted in a dramatic shift in the wines that are produced today. In recent years, a new generation of winemakers have shifted their focus to producing high-quality wines, placing emphasis on terroir and cultivating more indigenous grape varieties.
Sicily’s reputation as a food and wine paradise dates back to over 3,000 years. A land so gracefully rich in history and natural beauty could only produce remarkable wines, tied to the tradition of their timeless land. Sicily is much more than family traditions and century-old recipes. From motherland to modern land, Sicily and its wine producers have invested in modern technology in the pursuit of the best quality achievable, leading the way in innovation and sustainability, thanks to a new generation of winemakers.
Sicily’s indigenous grape varieties and time-honored wine-growing traditions play an important role in its success. Thanks to meticulous vineyard tending and gentle grape handling in Sicily’s wineries, Sicilia DOC wines feature the medley of flavors that Sicily has been known for since ancient times and today they represent some of the best wines of Italy.
The island offers a diverse range of wines from its crisp mineral-driven whites to its bright energetic red wines. Come explore the different characteristics of the grape varieties under the Sicilia DOC denomination, and discover the new Sicily from the next generation winemakers’ leading perspective. Here are seven new modern wines that will get you excited about Sicilian wines.
Alessandro di Camporeale Grillo Vigna Di Mandranova 2018 Sicilia DOC (SRP $22)
Alessandro di Camporeale Estate is a company in which each new generation rediscovers its own identity, sharing a production philosophy rooted in family history. The three Alessandro cousins are the company’s future, renewing and forging ahead with passion and promise.
From the Grillo vineyards on the Mandranova Estate comes a wine of extraordinary freshness and balance, a captivating interpretation of the most famous vine of Sicilian enology. A very fresh and aromatic wine, coming from one of the most renowned grapes on the island that is perfectly adapted to the Contrada Mandranova’s microclimate. The wine’s tropical and citrus notes follow with a long mineral finish.
Stemmari Dalila Riserva 2020 Sicilia DOC (SRP $13)
Stemmari boasts generous vineyards that are bathed in intense light and with a climate of dry winds that are ideal for the production of rich wines that are intense and full-bodied with unique fragrances and aromas. These wines are reminiscent of the unique and authentic flavors of Sicily. A new generation of winemakers are at the helm with Maurizio Maurizi and Lucio Matricardi
This aromatic wine showcases the great oenological potential of Sicily that expresses elegantly fragrant aromas in its white wines. In this wine, Grillo brings intense, exotic tropical notes of mango intermingled with delicate notes of white flowers and stone fruits. Viognier flourishes in Sicily, expressing delicate notes of peach, apricot and citrus with a light hint of wildflowers and fresh honey. Behind these two components, there is a refined oak element with elegant notes of vanilla that respect the nuance of these varietals.
Caruso & Minini Naturalmente Bio Grillo 2020 Sicilia DOC (SRP $18)
Caruso & Minini is a joint venture between two families and two different stories that merge when Stefano Caruso, the third generation of winemakers, meets Mario Minini, owner of a marketing company in Northern Italy.
Together they built the foundations of Caruso & Minini, a state-of-the-art winery in Marsala. With a look into the future, today Stefano is flanked by his two daughters Giovanna and Rosanna who are actively taking part in the daily work at the winery.
Grillo vines are the flagship for the winery. For this wine, they have chosen the highest hill in order to exalt its freshness and flavor. Intensity and elegance are the perfect mix in this wine.
Di Giovanna Vurria Grillo 2020 Sicilia DOC (SRP $22)
Di Giovanna is one of the oldest wine-growing families in Sicily. Their viticulture tradition dates back 5 generations, between Contessa Entellina and Sambuca di Sicilia. Now representing the 5th generation, the family property is managed by brothers Gunther and Klaus Di Giovanna,
Di Giovanna’s Grillo Vurria is an intense and fragrant Sicilian white wine. The grape is a cross of two varieties, Catarratto and Moscato d’Alessandria. Grillo today is one of the most interesting native white grapes of the western Sicilian landscape
Planeta Frappato 2020 Sicilia Vittoria DOC (SRP $22)
For five centuries and through seventeen generations, the family has been involved with the course of agricultural evolution in the complex land of Sicily, with an approach always inclined to openness and innovation. Today Alessio, Francesca and Santi Planeta run the company with their comprehensive winemaking approach, but the whole family is with them, rooted in Sicilian agriculture for generations.
Planeta Frappato is a rare and exclusive variety cultivated in only a few hectares in the whole of Sicily, which reaches its ultimate expression in the red sands of Vittoria, not far from the sea. An aromatic and pleasing red wine as are few others is the perfect synthesis between tradition and new trends.
Donnafugata Bell’Assai Frappatto 2019 Sicilia Vittoria DOC (SRP $29)
Giacomo Rallo, the fourth generation of a family with over 170 years of experience in quality wine, founded Donnafugata in 1983 together with his wife Gabriella, a pioneer of viticulture in Sicily. Today, their children José and Antonio lead the company. They aim to produce a range of international and indigenous variety wines to showcase the potential of Sicily.
Donnafugata Bell’Assai, a single variety Frappato, Vittoria DOC, with great freshness and soft tannins. This is a fragrant red wine with intense floral notes and aromas of red fruits that amazes. On the palate, there is a perfect harmony of aromas and flavors supported by soft tannins.
Valle Dell’Acate Il Moro Nero D’Avola 2017 Sicilia DOC (SRP $23)
Valle dell’Acate is found in the southeast corner of Sicily, located between the Iblei mountains and the Mediterranean sea in the province of Ragusa. This corner of Sicily has always been a hotbed of vinous activity. In 2000, Gaetana Jacono abandoned her career to join the family winery with the aim of taking it to the next level. Jacono is unquestionably a force: an outspoken advocate for her native vines, in 2013 she was elected the brand ambassador for the wines of Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a role she takes very seriously.
This red wine is Valle dell’Acate’s crown jewel. The vineyards are located roughly 120 meters above sea level. The wine is well-structured and marked by strong hints of small red fruits like blackberries, raspberries and black cherries, as well as dark chocolate tannins that are at once powerful and enjoyable.