Sip your way around Sicily’s best vineyards

Sip your way around Sicily’s best vineyards

Nothing says ‘la dolce vita’ like sipping on vino in the sun on a Sicilian wine estate. And as the second-largest wine region in Italy, Sicily knows a thing or two about it. The island’s volcanic soil and solid sunshine record are the perfect recipe for a good grape, and the base of Mount Etna’s slopes are hot property for vineyards. The most iconic Sicilian wine is Marsala – a sweet dessert wine – and you might recognise the name Tasca d’Almerita from the label on a bottle of red and Catarratto, a crisp white. But Sicily’s got loads more juicy numbers to its name, and where better to give them a taste than in the winery they were made in. Here’s a guide to the top three vineyards you should visit on your trip to Sicily 

Benanti Winery 

Benanti estate is at the foot of the volcano, and is around half an hour’s drive from Catania. Set up by Guiseppe Benanti in the late 19th century, Benanti has been a big name in the Sicilian wine industry for a while. It’s still run by the same family today, who use their juicy knowledge and experience to produce Etna Rosso, a full-bodied red made with Nerello Mascalese grapes, and Etna Bianco, a white made from Carricante grapes. You can pick from a vineyard and cellar tour followed by a tasting sesh of five wines, or if you’re feeling boujie, treat yourself to a swanky lunch and try a different wine paired with each course.  

Tenuta delle Terre Nere 

From Gaggi, you can easily drive to this boutique winery on the northern side of Etna’s base. Don’t be put off by the dirt-track driveway – the winery’s got those rustic vibes, which leaves all the attention on the wine and the scenery. The tour starts with a stroll through the terraced vineyards to learn all about the different kinds of grapes that grow here – and to admire the unreal view across the hills. You’ll then move on to see some of the wine-making process in the winery, before the best part – the tasting. Depending on which package you go for, there’s a red, white and rosé to try, plus a couple of sparkling wines. 

Terre di Noto 

This family-owned estate is just under an hour’s drive from Siracusa, on Sicily’s south-east corner. Set in one of Etna’s valleys, it’s a sprawling field with row after row of vines as far as the eye can see. The vineyard produces white, rosé and sparkling wines, a red using Nero d’Avola grapes, and olive oil from the estate’s groves, too. When it comes to tours, you’ve got a couple of options here – join a classic vineyard and winery tour to find out about the estate’s history, followed by a tasting. Or, dial up the wholesome vibes with a full-on picnic with wine, fresh sandwiches and cannoli between the vines and olive trees. Bellissimo.  

Feeling thirsty? Check out our Sicilian wine-tasting experiences for your next trip. Saluté! 
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Author: Daisy Colley

Last updated: 07/05/2024