If Nero d’Avola isn’t on your radar, it should be. It’s the most widely planted red in Sicily and, as the name suggests, it comes from Avolain the south-east of the island, in the province of Siracusa. It used to be mainly grown, and exported in quantity, to bulk up weedier northern reds, but it now produces much more elegant, age-worthy wines.
Like the most famous Silverado Trail, in California, or the Route 62 in South Africa, now in Sicily there is a new wine Route. The project was in he making for years, now the Route of the Valle dei Templi (Valley of the Temples) is now a reality. Long 250 km, it covers a big area; starting from Agrigento, passing by the famous Valle dei Templi–which alone is worth the trip–going up to Caltanisetta and then down to Licata, on the coast.
Having a wine route is not a novelty in Northern Italy, since the mid 1970, one of the first one was the Strada del Vino del Collio, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, now there are many in each Italian region.
Nero d’Avola is produced throughout Sicily, but in particular in the locality of Eloro, Pachino and Noto, in the province of Syracuse, cultivation of trees in the Gela plain.
Legend has it that the vine sprouted for the first time in Sicily from the tears of thirsty Dionysus. Thus was born the nectar that the ancient God gave to men, to comfort them from their labors, as well as to the Gods, to brighten their senses. Passito, moscati, malvasie, but also Nero d’Avola.
I’d like also to mention the white Anthìlia di Donnafugata. A fresh and fruity bouquet combined with scents of aromatic herbs. It is a fresh wine with a deep Mediterranean character, and a precise personality, round and elegant. Always fresh, the Bianco Sicilia DOC “Anthilia” by Donnafugata is a good companion for summer dinner with friends.