Blend: 60% Carricante, 40% Catarratto
From: Sicily, Italy
Even though Sicily’s reds get most of the spotlight, its new generation of dry, radiant whites should be on every wine lover’s radar.
The region’s quality renaissance started tentatively in the 1980s, and really got going in the ’90s. Initially, it depended on pioneering plantings of international grapes like Chardonnay and Merlot. But in the region’s largely hot, dry climate—ideal for organic farming—these varieties often yielded big, one-dimensional wines that had little personality and were shy on freshness.
As consumers turned toward more elegant, food-friendly wines, Sicilian producers rediscovered the island’s indigenous grapes. These natives thrive in Sicily’s varied terroirs that range from the hot, arid plains in the west to the cool, high-altitude slopes of Mount Etna in the northeast.
The best among the white offerings are made with Grillo, Catarratto, Carricante, Inzolia, Zibibbo and Grecanico, and they range from savory and crisp to complex and surprisingly ageworthy. Most are now regulated under the islandwide Sicilia Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC).
“Sicilian whites display the island’s great diversity in terms of grapes, soils and climates,” says Antonio Rallo, president of the Sicilia DOC consortium and co-owner of Donnafugata. “From west to east, all Sicilian white wines show distinctive personalities.”
Taste: The result is a crisp yet complex wine that offers subtle notes of tropical fruit, white flowers and a touch of brine and flintiness.
Pairing: Pairs perfectly with freshly caught local Branzino or Caponata. Other lovely pairings include burrata with strawberries and cucumber salad, linguine with cod and asparagus, dishes that incorporate capers, garlic, fresh olive oil, eggplant caponata pasta, and arancine di riso!
About. 60% Carricante, 40% Catarratto from vineyards located down the slopes from Erice, in the north of the province of Trapani (Western Sicily), 350 to 400 meters above sea level. The grapes are hand harvested, destemmed, cold macerated with the skins, then pressed gently. Slow temperature-controlled fermentation. Mild aromas of exotic fruit, flinty notes, elegant and complex.
Vegan and Organic.
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