So you have decided to go to Sicily. You might know about the great attractions of this beautiful island off the coast of the Italian boot. You may have heard about its cities including the capital Palermo and others worth visiting such as Messina and the formerly Greek city of Siracusa or Syracuse if you prefer. You’ve heard about Agrigento on the southern coast home to the Valle dei Templi; one of the finest collections of ancient Greek Temples. And you’d like to take one or more wine tours.
Sicily has traditionally been a high volume wine producer. But Sicilian wine wasn’t always known for its quality. Times have changed and some wineries such as Planeta produce top of the line wines, even if they don’t carry the supposedly prestigious Italian wine designations. Another producer to look for is Tasca d’Almerita, whose owner is a Count if you go for that sort of thing. This winery has an English-language website and offers visits.
The city of Marsala is located on the island’s west coast. It’s home to Sicily’s most famous wine, the sweet Marsala that has been exported for a good two centuries. Marsala was once quite popular and is now coming back. You won’t need to rent or drive a car to visit the Donnafugata Winery located in downtown Marsala.
Sicily produces a lot of wine from international grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. But make sure to try wines from the local grapes such as the white Inzolia (also called Ansonica) and the red Nero d’Avola.
Companies that offer wine tours of Sicily include La Dolce Vita Wine Tours, Delicious Italy, Vip Sicily Food Wine, and Alabaster and Clark Wine Tours Worldwide. In addition to Tasca d’Almerita in Vallelunga Pratameno and Donnafugata other Sicilian wineries that host visits include Abbazia Santa Anastasia in Castelbuono (English website coming soon), and Benanti in Viagrande near Mount Etna. A few words of warning are in order: Make sure that you check ahead of time for opening hours and whether English is spoken. Some places charge admission; others may expect you to buy some of their products.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.
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Wine tours, wine vacations, wine holidays in Sicily, Italy