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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Discovering the Stunning Wines of Sicily

A glass of the Italian dessert wine Marsala fr...
A glass of the Italian dessert wine Marsala from Sicily. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: "Marsala" fortified wine, f...
English: "Marsala" fortified wine, from Sicily Italiano: Vino "Marsala", dalla Sicilia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By []Helen Forbes

If you want to discover the true heart of the stunning Mediterranean island of Sicily, why not stay in one of the many excellent villas? In Sicily there are many to choose from and all are hand picked for their quality, location and comfort. Imagine having the independence to explore at your own pace and the luxury of returning to the privacy of your own space. Many villas in Sicily have swimming pools and outside dining areas come as standard. It is advisable to book the villas in Sicily through a travel company so you can be advised on the one that will suit your dream Sicilian holiday wishes.

Dotted throughout the countryside, located close to the beautiful coastline or even in the centre of local towns, villas in Sicily are found all over the island and all have their own rewards depending on what you and your group need.

Exploring the wines of the region

Italian traditions, food and wine are intricately combined in every part of Italian culture and no holiday to Sicily would be complete without making the most of the Mediterranean delights, sampling the local dishes and exploring the many colourful and vibrant markets. While the food has been influenced by many cultures throughout the ages, the wine is most definitely a product of the true soul of the island.

Sicily has the prefect growing climate, with cloudless summers, a little humidity but virtually no summer rain. The fertile soils and consistent seasons produce reliable vintages year after year. It is thought that Sicily is one of the oldest of Europe's viticultural regions, and wine has been produced here since the occupation of the Greeks over 2,000 years ago. The largest wine producing area in Italy, along with Puglia, many of the wines from Sicily have world-renowned acclaim.

Originally the best wines were produced on the volcanic soils of Mount Etna and in the western part of Sicily, but today the whole island has opened up to producing an excellent variety of traditional wines, spirits and liquors. The Marsala wine is probably the best-known dessert wine in the world and makes up over 90% of the total wine production on the island. The grapes are dried into raisins in order to concentrate the sugars and are ideally drunk with almond biscuits at the end of a meal.

When you are exploring the island look out for the famous Nero d'avola or the Primitivo, two rich, fruity reds that are perfect with the aubergine and tomato pasta dishes and rich slow cooked sauces. The best white to try has to be the Malvasia, which is the ideal aperitivo and complements your pre-dinner nibbles in style. The Zibbibo grape is often used in grappa, the ubiquitous digestivo that really has to be tasted on a visit to the island.

Spending your holiday in one of the villas in Sicily allows you to explore in your own time, discover the little off the beaten track vineyards and eat in the real local restaurants. These are always the best places to unearth a country's real gastronomic treasures.

Helen Forbes is from Essential Italy, a company specialising in Italian holiday villas, apartments and hotels. If you're looking for the perfect []villas in Sicily we can help. Our handpicked villas offer distinctive Italian qualities, great comfort and convenience.

Article Source: [] Discovering the Stunning Wines of Sicily

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