Time To Taste The Wine

The Feast of Saint Martin is approaching. Saint Martin is the patron saint of vintners, soldiers, the poor, wool-weavers, geese, and the country France. For vintners, November 11 marks the first tasting of the new wine, known as “novello.” Wine making is a long process that starts with the pruning and caring for the vines…

Grape Spotting

Depending on the region of the island (Sicily has many microclimates.), the grape harvest has started. These Nerello Mascalese grapes, indigenous to Etna, are not yet ready, but the wine maker is measuring the grapes’ vitals every day to strike when the moment is right.

These Barrels Have a Nose 

November 11 is La Festa di San Martino, or Saint Martin’s Day. It marks the first tasting of the new wine, also known as “novello.” September marked the grape harvest, when the grapes are picked, cleaned, and macerated (Yes, it’s true, wine makers used to stomp on them with their feet…) to make juice that…

The Grapes of Sicilian Wine 

The terraces and stone walls of Randazzo on Mount Etna’s north face make for a special environment to grow grapes from ancient vines. Grape varieties such as Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccino grow about a half a mile above sea level, where the salty sea winds meet fresh, crisp mountain air that converges with volcanic,…

Wine Connection

Connecting people to their heritage in Sicily brings me great joy, and this weekend I was thrilled to be able to connect two sisters to Sicily, this time through wine. They explained that their last name is Aitala, and asked if I knew how they could purchase the Sicilian wine of the same name. Well,…

High Tech Vintage

Once wine grapes are harvested and pressed, the juice is brought here to begin the fermentation process. Today, wine making is very high tech. The wood barrels are still important, but they come later. First, however, stainless steel, temperature controlled, light controlled, and closely monitored containers create the liquid that becomes the wine we love….