The guide of Sicilian wines 2023 is ready: a journey through taste, history and tradition

The most ancient symbol of Sicily is a woman’s head with three legs, the Triskelion of the Greeks, represented in the vase paintings. Some etymological hypotheses make the name Sicily derive from the union of two ancient voices: «sik» and «elia», the fig tree and the olive tree, real expression of Sicilian land. And where there are fig and olive trees, the grapes can only be excellent. Those who cultivate vines, then, do not simply carry out a job, but almost pursue a mission in the field of modern good living. And of these “benefactors” you will find many, no less than 120, among the pages of “Vini di Sicilia 2023” which will be presented, accompanied by a tasting, tomorrow morning at the Botanical Garden (11 am) and will be on sale with the Giornale di Sicily from Tuesday 29 November at 3.50 euros plus the price of the newspaper. Tomorrow morning’s presentation will then be broadcast on Tgs on Wednesday evening (30 November) at 21.30. The sixth edition of the Guide is edited by Francesco Abate and Giancarlo Gariglio, with the editorial coordination of Olivia Reviglio, in collaboration with Slow Wine.

Since the “renaissance” of Sicilian wine began many years ago, the palate of consumers has changed, the eating habits and the philosophical interpretation of wine have changed, which is no longer used to quench thirst but is drunk with competence. The climate has changed, unfortunately for the worse. However, in Sicily the reserve of aromas and flavors obtained from vines bowed to a unique spectacle of sky, sea and wind constitutes an extraordinary heritage that is difficult to taint, to which the grape responds with the chromatic intensity of its grains. An island wine today wants to leave a trace, even go down in history. And ride the world markets.

The curators explain: «We feared the effects of the sometimes extreme climatic conditions prior to the 2021 harvest, on grapes, musts and wines. Of course, it cannot be said that nothing happened, but after twelve months we find ourselves recounting the positive reaction of the Sicilian vineyard, and how the work of our farmers has made the difference». If smell is the sight of the soul and of the most intimate emotions, like music is its language, whoever worked on the Guide has activated it for a long time, around the island, from one province to another, from one cellar to another. Abate and Gariglio: «The selection of wines that we reviewed this year is biased towards reds. Those from Etna have provided interesting performances in terms of ease of drinking, but also of complexity. The passito wines from the smaller islands, the older marsalas and the “perpetual method” are very convincing results, full of energy».

A Sicilian agricultural philosophy according to nature that seems to have put into practice the wisdom conserved in the hands, combining it with the science of technique and the sensitivity of the human soul: «Some great classics of Sicilian enology, even more mature, have fascinated for the articulation and the infinite length of the sip. The whites from the smaller islands are still growing, and show a marked territorial adherence, primarily malvasia and zibibbo. We won’t get tired of praising the catarrattos. Nero d’Avola has favorably impressed us with its fruit and varietal narrative, both in the West and in the East. Convincing performances also for the cerasuolos». A tour of cellars where dedication, commitment, passion, strong productive bond with the land, desire for experimentation, research, comparison, respect for nature and biodiversity come together. A lot of work comes out of it in all the vineyards. Critical issues? We read that the whites from Etna were affected by the vintage, the crickets showed a little excess fat, the frappatos seemed tannic. Finally, a suggestion from the Guide: stock up on whites and reds from 2019. An extraordinary vintage.

The selected wineries

Aldo Viola, Arianna Occhipinti, Barraco, Benanti, Bonavita, Bosco Falconeria, Calcagno, Cantine Barbera, Castellucci Miano, Centopassi, COS, CVA, Di Legami, Ferrandes, Frank Cornelissen, Funaro, Girolamo Russo, Gulfi, I Custodi delle Vigne dell’ Etna, I Vigneri, Manenti, Marco De Bartoli, Passopisciaro, Planeta, Poggio di Bortolone, Tasca d’Almerita, Terre Nere Estate, Castellaro Estate, Gorghi Tondi Estate, Valdibella

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Category Palermo