Sunrise over the mountains of SicilySunrise over the mountains of Sicily

Cultural crossroads


Hauner winery vines during winter dormancyHauner winery vines during winter dormancy

A life for the white Malvasia grape on the tiny Aeolian island of Salina.

Tasca – Tenuta Regaleali

Inner courtyard of the main building of Tenuta Regaleali in Tasca, SicilyInner courtyard of the main building of Tenuta Regaleali in Tasca, Sicily

The oenological flagship of the Tasca d’Almerita winegrowing family on this sun-drenched volcanic island.

Tasca – Tenuta Tascante

Garden with trees and stone walls at the Tenuta Tascante of TascaGarden with trees and stone walls at the Tenuta Tascante of Tasca

Full-bodied, profound indigenous grapes from the foot of the Etna volcano.

From mass producer to champion of quality: Sicily has undergone an impressive metamorphosis in recent decades.

On the map, Sicily looks like an – admittedly somewhat misshapen – ball being kicked from the tip of the Italian «boot». This may be apt, for the largest island in the Mediterranean passed back and forth between the various powers for centuries. Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Hohenstaufen, Spaniards: they all ruled the island, one after the other. Sicily is the last remnant of a land bridge that once connected Europe with Africa. Orient and Occident still meet here today – in the landscape, the mindset and the cuisine.

Italy’s largest region is also the largest Italian wine region. Around 100,000 hectares of vineyards stretch across the island. For a long time, Sicily, like the rest of southern Italy, shipped the lion’s share of its wines to the north in bulk. Quality improvements did not begin until the end of the 1990s. But then at a rapid pace.

Fiery wines from the slopes of Mount Etna

The Sicilian wine region has a broad repertoire of indigenous varieties. The prestige wine among the reds is called Nero d’Avola, «the Black One from Avola», which is a village near Siracusa. With its rich bouquet of chocolate and plum, its velvety tannins and its long ageing potential, it is a full-blooded ambassador for this unique island. It pairs with the fruity, drinkable Frappato to create Sicily’s only docg wine, Cerasuolo di Vittoria.

On the slopes of Mount Etna, the fiery and elegant Nerello Mascalese grows. The volcanic rock makes the region exceptionally fertile; the vines can be up to a hundred years old.

Sun-kissed sweet wine

Surprisingly, more white wine grapes are grown in Sicily than red wine grapes. The most interesting of these are the intensely fruity Catarratto and the crisp, mineral Inzolia. In the last two decades, international varieties have also found their way into red and white wines, such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The winemakers often blend them with the local varieties – a successful marriage.

And is it any wonder that the hot island also has some sweet wine to offer? Marsala, which has made a considerable leap in quality in recent years, enjoys a worldwide reputation. Even more exciting are the island wines Moscato di Pantelleria and Malvasia delle Lipari. The latter was revived almost single-handedly by Carlo Hauner junior, son of the renowned artist of the same name, on a tiny island in the Lipari Atoll north of Sicily (which also includes the volcanic island of Stromboli).

Arabic heritage in the kitchen

Sicily features an incredibly diverse range of tourist attractions, from the ancient temples in Siracusa to the craters of Mount Etna, which are more than 3,000 metres high, to the noisy capital Palermo. The island’s cuisine is just as colourful. Surrounded by the sea, Sicily is a true fish and seafood paradise. The markets are stacked with lobsters and sea urchins, scorpion fish, tuna and swordfish. Stuffed sardines with sultanas and pine nuts and caponata, a sweet and sour vegetable dish with aubergines, are a legacy from Arab eras. Capers from the island of Pantelleria, together with locally produced lemons, go wonderfully with fish. The meal is rounded off with sweet delicacies such as the layer cake cassata or the filled cannoli pastry rolls, both packed with plenty of sweetened ricotta cheese.

docg areas in Sicily

Cerasuolo di Vittoria

doc areas in Sicily

Alcamo, Contea di Sclafani, Contessa Entellina, Delia Nivolelli, Eloro, Erice, Etna, Faro, Inzolia, Malvasia delle Lipari, Mamertino di Milazzo, Marsala, Menfi, Monreale, Moscato di Noto, Moscato di Pantelleria, Moscato di Siracusa, Riesi, Salaparuta, Sambuca di Sicilia, Santa Margherita di Belice, Sciacca, Sicilia, Vittoria

Key producers

Cos, Donnafugata, De Bartoli, Duca di Salaparuta, HaunerTasca – Tenuta RegalealiTasca – Tenuta Tascante

Wines from Sicily
  1. - +
    100 % Nerello Mascalese

    75 cl
    Ghiaia nera – Etna doc Tenuta Tascante
  2. - +
    Italy, Sicily
    100 % Perricone

    75 cl
    Guarnaccio – Perricone – Sicilia doc Tenuta Regaleali, Tasca
  3. - +
    Italy, Sicily
    62 % Nero d'Avola, 38 % Perricone

    75 cl
    Rosso del Conte – Contea di Sclafani doc Tenuta Regaleali, Tasca
    Special Price CHF41.50 netto n Regular Price CHF52.00