WBW #8 - Vini Siciliani Rossi
Posted on Friday 18th of March 2005 under
It should come as no big suprise to people that Katia and I are huge fans of Sicilian wine... after all we have a site called loveSicily where we, essentially, obsess, about anything Sicilian...(and in particular of the south-east of Sicily). However, we also like to believe that our love of Sicilian wine is not without some reason beyond our particular bias. We have spoken in the past about the very interesting times that Sicilian wine is experiencing, and have hosted an interview with the wonderful Kate Singleton in two parts (Part 1 and Part 2) about her experiences researching Sicilian wine.
So in all, you would understand why we are particularly excited to host the eighth edition of Wine Blogging Wednesdays on Sicilian red wines. Not only is this the first blogging event that we are hosting, we are also anxious to see what Sicilian wines people can find, and what they will make of them. The date to post your stories of sicilian reds is the 13th of April. Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about them and shortly afterwards we will post the summary of the event.
To mark this exciting occasion for us we decided to combine it with a visit to one of the wineries that is at the forefront of the Sicilian wine rebirth. This morning, we drove the 50 minutes from Modica to just outside Chiaramonte Gulfi in the region of Ragusa to visit the COS winery - the creation of architects Giusto Occhipinti and Giambattista Cilia it is evident than much more than a business COS has been a labour of love for them. From the wonderfully restored farmhouse, which acts as headquarters of their 'azienda agricola', to their insistence on not using any industrial processes (the winery has no chemical analysis labs), their care in picking the grapes and selecting only the best by hand - COS produces wines which are a true expression of the local area. Their efforts and the efforts of other wineries in the area are finding recognition and the Cerasuolo di Vittoria, which is now a DOC, will soon become a DOCG - the first DOCG in the South of Italy.
While at COS, we tried their white Rami, a mixture of Inzolia and Grecanico, an interesting wine where the typical freshness of the Inzolia is balanced by the Grecanico providing a slightly dry and exciting wine. The deep ruby Cerasuolo was wonderful, with the body provided by the Nero d'Avola grapes complimented by the fruitiness of the Frappato giving the taste of spicy cherries. Finally, the Scyri - a Nero d'Avola of 2000 is a complex wine that needs time to flourish once decanted, but we will be talking more about this one in the future. We did not however, have the chance to taste some of the truly exciting wines of COS, such as Pithos and Contrada, of which we will hope to be able to talk about more in the future, as well, since each deserves its own story.
In all, Sicily, with its many different microclimates provides an interesting wine-cultivating territory and we hope that you will be inspired to explore the different wines coming from the hills of Etna to the rocky fields of Pantelleria, where the vines need to be protected from the African winds and are at a lower level than Tunis, as well as everything in between!