Hidden gems in the Far South of Sicily: beaches, art and the local grape Frappato
It is known that tourism is a very important driver for the wine business. So my task is to tell about places and wines so that the destination of people and the origin of wine can meet. Researches on tourism and wine export in Italy confirm that all the important destinations for tourists are a fast track to wine export.
In Sicily everything is over-the-top!
Everybody in the world knows that the southern island of Italy, located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea is namedSicily. End of the obvious. In reality, what do we know about Sicily? And here starts the list of individual sensibilities. Anyone has a path to reconstruct in his mind what reconnects to one of the most famous places in today’s world and history.
So if we think of the known destinations of the island the obvious references are on the “postcard” destinations: Taormina. A beautiful and lucky destination: overlooking the sea, overlooking the most famous active volcano in the world and featuring a millennial outdoor theater that still hosts shows in an extraordinary context.
From here the route becomes more difficult, the island is huge and not enough equipped with roads and services to move around in a short time. Therefore it is necessary to find compromises between desires and time availability.
In Sicily, everything is extreme, the landscape, nature, people. But I only point out the pleasant aspects, then: the bougainvillea have a more intense color than in the rest of Italy, the light of the landscapes is brighter than elsewhere, the volcano is the most active of the entire peninsula (thankfully!), people are more brilliant and justly proud, food and wine are more seductive.
You can’t go further south!
For some years now, Comiso airport, in the southernmost part of Sicily, connects Milan, Rome and the major European capitals to a vast area of the island, very wild, reserved, extremely fascinating. www.aeroportodicomiso.eu
The province of Ragusa is an area of very large and relatively sparsely populated spaces. The wind blows constantly, the light and the silence recall the desert. Here an extraordinary destination welcomes new travelers. All those, who have already visited the “fundamental” destinations can find their hidden gems here: Ragusa Ibla, Caltagirone, Modica and a series of other beauties, to see and to taste. It is not about visiting places, a complete different atmosphere wraps you when you walk around in these squares, steps, alleys.
Certainly, there are beaches in the province of Ragusa. From Capo Passero, the far south of the island, traveling west, huge, uncrowded beaches welcome the traveler. A little further on the most famous of the territory: Scoglitti, in the municipality of Victoria. Stop and think for a moment that you are far south of Europe, further south of Tunis if we look at the map!
What wine down here?
What about wine? I didn’t escort you down here for anything, I want to introduce the Frappato. It is the lesser-known grape that blends with Nero d’Avola, the island’s undisputed redberry leader, constitutes the only DOCG of Sicily: the Cerasuolo di Vittoria. An interesting wine, which certainly deserves more attention than it has enjoyed so far. In the Cerasuolo di Vittoria, the Frappato plays an important role, softens the somewhat rustic characteristics of Nero d’Avola and makes it harmonious, warm, fragrant with ripe fruit, from the predominant note of cherry, hence the name and consistent with the strength of the sun in this area.
Given the characteristics of the maturation of these grapes, several wineries consider it appropriate to vinify the Cerasuolo di Vittoria without wooden barrels, preferring with this choice to enhance the intrinsic characteristics of the vines and this so special territory. Archaeological excavations have returned amphorae and coins that testify to the production of wine in the 7th-6th century BC But certainly, the story is older, we are in that Magna Grecia that populates our history books.
A wine that tastes of the sun
Frappato is the real native here and it is vinified as a single vine to enhance its freshness. The color is ruby red, the nose is reminiscent of fruits such as marasca, black cherry, pomegranate, and blueberries. The structure is medium, it is immediate red, drinkable, but for this, it is easy to match with the cuisine of the territory, with pasta, vegetables, and appetizers. It is the wine that is recommended to serve at 14C degrees and that is perfectly suited to pair with fish cooked in a sauce.
Once known the features, it is understandable that given the spread of rosé sparkling wine in recent times, it is precisely the Frappato that lends itself to this type.
The denominations that include the Frappato in purity are the DOC Alcamo, Eloro, Erice, Vittoria and Sicily. More famous products originating in this area: Pachino tomato… https://www.finedininglovers.com/article/italian-delicacies-pachino-tomatoes and the most luscious Modica chocolate http://www.visitsicily.info/en/modica-chocolate/
The ambassador of the Territory
Places, food, and wines need ambassadors in the world to become famous: in the same area where Frappato is produced, the most famous commissioner in Italy lives Inspector Montalbano. The detective created by the pen of Andrea Camilleri lives and works in imaginary places that however faithfully correspond to the places already mentioned. The link describes well the personality of the protagonist. https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/inspector-montalbano/