Allegrini 2018

Sicily en Primeur: history, research and chalices

The wine revival in Sicily has led the island to become one of the most successful Italian wine producing regions
From Etna to the sea, the vineyards of Sicily

Sicilian wine has to absolutely focus on its “roots and its wings”, or rather, its history and scientific research open to the future, to prepare for “the jump upwards” to Italian winemaking and beyond, to be able to consolidate the success it has built over the years on world markets. The wine revival in Sicily has led the island to become one of the most successful Italian wine producing regions, but it still has a long way to go before it can really say it has fully accomplished its goals. This was precisely the issue under the spotlight of the “wine continent” from Marsala to Milazzo, and Etna to Pantelleria at the 15th edition of Sicily en Primeur, held in Palermo. Further, in the Italian Capital of Culture 2018, the stars were also science and research. This is, “an opportunity to take stock of the situation”, stressed Alessio Planeta, president of Assovini Sicilia, “on studies and research in the scientific field, areas that are increasingly essential to be competitive on world markets, and additionally, they are signs of the willingness to respect the environment and enhance our traditions”. Some studies was presented at the “Sicily Wine Science Show”. For example, a study on the yeast populations in Sicily and the selection of new strains, the genetic variability of the Sicilian vineyard, a study on Marsala Vergine DOC, and also on the prehistoric casks that were found on Mount Kronio, in Sciacca, which could backdate the history of viticulture in the Mediterranean basin at least two thousand years (https://goo.gl/tG582M). Sicily has been able to create a team that wins on the markets, as the numbers of the young DOC Sicilia narrate, “the only Italian denomination that embraces an entire Region”, explained Antonio Rallo, president of Sicily DOC”, which in 2017 counted 7.295 winemakers that produced 30 million bottles of wine”. In the chalices, the 15 Designations tasted were a quite positive surprise, starting from a 2017 vintage that did not hide its exceptional characteristics, compared to the overall trend of the collection throughout the rest of Italy, showing excellent peaks of quality, especially among the whites, with Etna at the top (our best tastings here, https://goo.gl/AqKfFB).

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