Wines

Sicily is most famous for its dessert wine, Marsala, but the region also produces outstanding dry red and white wines - discover the 6 native Sicilian grape varieties you deserve to know.

Red Wines of Sicily


Nero d'Avola

Some call this the Cabernet of Sicily because it has the rich, black fruit flavors (think blackberries and plums) and often lots of rich, smooth body. We liken it to Malbec because we're seeing it produce exceptional, elegant, and age-worthy styles when grown in Sicily's mountainous regions.

It's useful to note that Nero d'Avola has smooth tannins, making it very approachable. Overall, it's a great example of a Sicilian red that everyone deserves to know.


Nerello Mascalese

Nerello Mascalese ("Nair-rello Mas-kah-lay-zay") is a fast up-and-comer in sommelier circles all over the earth because of its delicate red cherry fruit flavors, structured tannin, and pale ruby-red color. In other words, it looks and smells a lot like Pinot Noir and tastes similar to Barolo!

Despite its growing popularity, Nerello Mascalese is pretty rare on the island, mostly growing at elevation (1000 feet and above) on the foothills of Mount Etna. It's a major grape in Etna Rosso DOC.


Frappato

The most delicate of Sicily's reds, Frappato grows well in Sicily's Terra Rossa and sandy soils, where it delivers perfumed aromas of candied sour cherry, raspberry, and flowers. Because of its light color and delicate flavors, it's often blended with Nero d'Avola in Sicily's only DOCG: Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG ("chair-ah-swolo dee Vit-toh-ree-ya").


White Wines of Sicily


Catarratto

Sicilian winemakers dedicate most of their vineyard land to white wines, and Catarratto (now often called "Lucido")is the most planted white grape. It's been here for a long time, perhaps thousands of years, and we know this because there are many subtypes and clones.

As a wine, expect good acidity and low alcohol with subtle melon or peach aromas and a bit of salinity. These wines are refreshing "beach wines" and also make up a large portion of what goes into Marsala.


Grillo

Grillo ("Gree-low") is a natural crossing of Zibibbo (Muscat of Alexandria) and Cataratto. On the palate, expect fresh, peach or passion fruit notes similar to what you might find in Sauvignon Blanc. Still, the wines have a rich body and mouth-filling texture, and some put it in oak barrels to add more richness and subtle vanilla notes, much like Chardonnay.


Carricante

Carricante ("Kare-reh-kan-tay") is a bit of a rarity growing alongside Nerello Mascalese and a major grape in Etna Bianco DOC. It has a cult following who liken this high acid, subtly aromatic white wine to Riesling because it exudes petrol-like notes as it ages.


Marsala

Despite its often deep, brown-amber color, Marsala is made mostly (if not entirely) from white wine grapes. The more you learn about it, the more you realize that Marsala isn't just for simmering mushrooms and chicken. It's a serious sipping wine that rivals fine vintage Port.



Explore the wines of Sicily directly from the producers.
Most Popular
120 Wines83 Wineries

Nero d'Avola

71 Wines61 Wineries

Grillo

42 Wines35 Wineries

Catarratto

36 Wines23 Wineries

Nerello Mascalese

27 Wines22 Wineries

Frappato

27 Wines10 Wineries

Fortified

More Rare
26 Wines20 Wineries

Sparkling

26 Wines16 Wineries

Carricante

24 Wines19 Wineries

Syrah

24 Wines21 Wineries

White Blend

23 Wines15 Wineries

Nero d'Avola Blend

19 Wines14 Wineries

Red Blend

17 Wines14 Wineries

Sweet

17 Wines17 Wineries

Chardonnay

14 Wines11 Wineries

Inzolia

11 Wines10 Wineries

Perricone

9 Wines9 Wineries

Cabernet Sauvignon

9 Wines8 Wineries

Zibibbo

6 Wines6 Wineries

Grillo Blend

5 Wines4 Wineries

Inzolia Blend

5 Wines4 Wineries

Fiano

5 Wines4 Wineries

Viognier

5 Wines5 Wineries

Merlot

5 Wines5 Wineries

Pinot Grigio

4 Wines3 Wineries

Syrah Blend

4 Wines4 Wineries

Grecanico Dorato

4 Wines4 Wineries

Carricante Blend

4 Wines4 Wineries

Frappato Blend

4 Wines3 Wineries

Malvasia

3 Wines3 Wineries

Moscato Bianco

3 Wines3 Wineries

Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

3 Wines3 Wineries

Merlot Blend

3 Wines3 Wineries

Catarratto Blend

3 Wines3 Wineries

Sauvignon Blanc

2 Wines2 Wineries

Grecanico Dorato Blend

2 Wines2 Wineries

Nocera

2 Wines2 Wineries

Müller-Thurgau

2 Wines2 Wineries

Pinot Noir

1 Wines1 Wineries

Pinot Noir Blend

1 Wines1 Wineries

Cabernet Franc

1 Wines1 Wineries

Chardonnay Blend

1 Wines1 Wineries

Vermentino

1 Wines1 Wineries

Nerello Cappuccio

1 Wines1 Wineries

Viognier Blend

1 Wines1 Wineries

Malvasia di Lipari

1 Wines1 Wineries

Petit Verdot

1 Wines1 Wineries

Albanello

1 Wines1 Wineries

Inzolia-Catarratto Blend

1 Wines1 Wineries

Perricone Blend

1 Wines1 Wineries

Aglianico