Sicily, known in ancient times as Sicania and Trinacria for its triangular shape, is the largest island in the Mediterranean sea with a total area of 25,460 km². Sicily is connected with some surrounding islands and archipelagos: the Aeolian Islands, Ustica, the Aegadian Islands, Pantelleria and the Pelagie Islands. The region is mainly hilly (61.4% of the area), whilst 24.5% is mountainous and the remaining 14.1% is flat (the largest plain is that of Catania).

The geographical features are varied: whilst in eastern Sicily the Sicilian Apennines continue on from the Calabrian Apennines, central and western Sicily are home to isolated massifs. With the exception of the imposing volcano, Mount Etna (3,350 metres), the Madonie mountain range includes the highest peak of the island: Pizzo Carbonara (1,979 metres).

The main rivers of the island are the Salso (or Imera Meridionale) and the Platani, but it should be noted that in the summer these rivers have extremely low water levels. Sicily enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers, mild and rainy winters and very changeable seasons in between. On the coast, especially on the south-west side, the climate is heavily affected by African currents, resulting in torrid summers.

The land on which the vines are cultivated is of varied morphology and constitution, the result of complex geological and tectonic events that have led to the creation of a particularly complex structure. The latter consists of a basal complex formed of deep autochthonous terrain, a series of distinct geotectonic units consisting of allochthonous terrain overlying the previous one and a post-orogenic complex inherent to recent autochthonous terrain.

The autochthonous terrain of the basal complex emerges in the Hyblaean plateau, the southern Sicanian mountains, the northern Sicanian mountains, the area of Trapani and Monte Iudica, the Madonie mountain range and the mountains of Palermo.
The allochthonous terrain emerges mainly in the north-eastern area of ​​the island, in the eastern part of the Madonie mountain range, in the mountains of Palermo and Castellammare del Golfo;
terrain from the post-orogenic complex is widely found in the central and southern areas of the island and along the coastal stretches.

As far as the lithological characteristics are concerned, terrain of sedimentary origin emerges in much of Sicily. In terms of soil, the situation is very complex.


The plateau


The plateau

The south-eastern portion of the island is made up of the Ibleo plateau, a robust carbonate base articulated in terraces sloping down to the coast. The territory, whose fulcrum is the ancient extinct volcano of Mount Lauro, includes the plains of Lentini, Augusta, Syracuse, Pachino, Vittoria. Innumerable watercourses known as “caves” radiate from the plateau. It is one of the driest and hottest areas on the island: the annual averages of rainfall can drop below 300 mm and temperatures can be between 18-9°C; during the summer months temperatures can even exceed 30°C while during the winter months they do not drop below 8-10°C.

The coast


The coast

The northern Tyrrhenian coast is high and jagged, with limestone, tuff and oceanic clay deposits. Between Palermo and Trapani there are marine limestone terraces followed by sandy open spaces going on up to the hills and coastal terraces of Agrigento and Caltanissetta, which alternate calcareous-marly and clayey-marly formations. The southern coast is low and sandy up to the plains of Catania, where it returns to its high and rocky aspect. Annual rainfall varies from 400 to 600 mm, between the southern part and the northern part, to 800 mm per year on the Ionian side. The average island temperatures range from 18-19°C to 8-10°C, up to 30°C during the summer months.

The hinterland of Sicily


The hinterland of Sicily

The central portion of Sicily is predominantly hilly, predominantly clayey, marble and chalky sulphurous formations, the latter characteristic makes the soils rich in mineral elements. The average rainfall ranges from a minimum of 300-400 to a maximum of 700-800 mm per year. The exposure is of great importance, rather than the altitude. The average temperatures in the warmer months can reach 32-34°C while the minimum temperatures in the colder months can drop to between 2-4°C.

The mountains


The mountains

The northern side of the island starts from the east, with the most rugged part occupied by the Peloritani Mountains. The Nebrodis follow, with arenaceous-clayey substrates that lead to the highest peaks of the Madonie where, starting from 700-800 meters above sea level, powerful masses of limestone or limestone-dolomitic rocks appear. The Mountains of Trabia, of Palermo, of Trapani and, towards the interior, the Mountains of the Sicani group follow. On average, 600 to 1,600 mm of rain fall per year; the average summer temperature can reach 18-20°C, increasing to 28°C, while the minimum in the cold months can drop to a few degrees below zero.



The Sicily DOC Consortium is the first organization in the history of Sicily that was created to promote and preserve the island’s native grape varieties, to share the history of the island’s wine with consumers and to safeguard the reputation of the Sicily brand. Including both small and large wineries, Sicilia DOC is devoted to the production of extraordinary Sicilian white and red wines that have a deep connection with their territory of origin. A wine with the Sicilia DOC designation is a guarantee of quality and of a deep respect for the island’s ancient winemaking traditions. Only the best wines of Sicily are Sicilia DOC

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