From wine lovers to professionals, hundreds of people had the opportunity to appreciate Sicilian DOC wines during Vinitaly 2023, which just ended at the Verona Fairgrounds from April 2nd to 5th, 2023. First of all, a very large turnout was recorded during the more than ten tastings reserved for the Italian and foreign press, buyers and sector operators, such as restaurateurs and sommeliers on the most representative vines of the island, namely Nero D’Avola, Grillo, Lucido, presented with a view to promoting and publicizing all the numerous characteristics that represent the denomination.
“Sicily is the ideal place to cultivate vines – explains Antonio Rallo, the president of the Consortium of Sicily DOC Wines – from healthy grapes great wines are made: Success comes from this simple equation, success that has lasted for years, but which is growing more and more. There were many moments at our stand when, thanks to the collaboration with Veronafiere and ICE, the Institute of Foreign Trade, buyers and importers from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Northern Europe, as well as journalists from all over the world, were able to taste over 125 references from almost 70 Sicilian companies”.
As part of the Consortium’s calendar of events, the press conference “Wine & Sicilian Excellences: The Consortium for the Protection of Sicily DOC Wines and Le Soste di Ulisse United for the Promotion of the Heritage of the “Region of Sicily” was held, during which President Rallo with the President of Le Soste di Ulisse, Pino Cuttaia, eplained the details of an exclusive partnership. The partnership with Le Soste di Ulisse, which is therefore based on the food and wine excellence of Sicily, foresees numerous joint activities, beginning with collaboration during press tours and events abroad.
During Vinitaly, updates were also explained regarding the project “The Identity of the Sicilian Vineyard – The Paulsen Nursery and the Enhancement of the Sicilian Grape Germplasm”, promoted and supported by the Consortium for the Protection of Sicily DOC Wines in partnership with the Department of Agriculture of the Region of Sicily, the University of Palermo and the “F. Paulsen” Regional Center for the Conservation of Viticultural and Agricultural Biodiversity, dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity generated by 3,000 years of viticulture on the island and its native varieties. If in the first year of the project three vine cuttings were established with initial material supplied by the Paulsen Nursery, the vine cuttings thus produced were used in the second year of the project for the establishment of two fields of initial category mother plants located in the Petrosino countryside. Buds are taken from these fields to be supplied to the nurserymen, for the production of certified material. At present the fields host 10 clones of Sicilian varieties approved by the Region of Sicily (i.e. Perricone, Alicante, Nerello Cappuccio, Nero D’Avola, Carricante, Greganico, Grillo, Zibibbo, Catarratto, Moscato bianco), but in 2023 the groundwork has been laid to start the cloning process also of other biotypes whose agronomic and enological profile is to be traced, as well as “minor” varieties (such as Minnella Nera, Nerello Cappuccio, Nocera, Alicante) and “relic” varieties (namely Vitrarolo, Recunu, Orisi , Lucignola). Sicilian companies will therefore soon have the opportunity to purchase certified material of native varieties from local nurserymen.
The Consortium for the Protection of Sicily DOC Wines
The Consortium for the Protection of Sicily DOC Wines (siciliadoc.wine) came to life in 2012, with the aim of representing the wine of the Sicilian territory and promoting the Sicily DOC denomination, with actions aimed at increasing the visibility of a symbolic brand of Made in Italy and at protecting and supervising in defense of consumers and producers.
Almost 8,000 winegrowers and about 500 bottlers are promoters of the Controlled Designation of Origin, a recognition that serves to represent them, but also to enhance and safeguard the island’s wine production. Sicily is the largest organic wine-growing area in Italy: It accounts for 30% of the national surface are and with its over 42 thousand hectares it also holds the record among the regions that practice sustainable viticulture, subject to organic or integrated production regulations.