Nero d'Avola, Shiraz
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and has one of the most ancient winemaking cultures in the world, dating back to 7th Century BC. Its wine industry is undergoing massive change with new players entering the market and producers upgrading their vineyards and winemaking to compete internationally. Sicily is actually the largest of Italy's provinces and has the biggest area under vine.
The island has 1400 km of coastline but is largely covered by hills and mountain ranges, including the snow capped Mt Etna, the famous 10,000 foot active volcano. On these mountains and on the hills between them there are areas with relatively cool but very sunny growing conditions, which are not unlike the cool climate regions of Australia. Wine is also grown in the hotter coastal regions to the west & south of the island. All in all, Sicily is a great place to grow grapes! There is little rain, spring frost is rare, as is hail. With the help of irrigation in some parts, the vines thrive in the regular, dry, warm climate.
Shiraz and Zinfandel both feature here due to the ripe fruit flavours overlaid with spice. For Shiraz you’ll notice white or black pepper on the nose where Zinfandel will remind you of a spicy fruitcake, think cherries & cinnamon. These wines smell good, look good and taste good.
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