It’s been a long time since wine in Sicily was sold off only for blending and exported mainly to France.
If Sicily is now home to Italy’s most exciting new wines, it’s thanks to a new generation of passionate winemakers who bet on the island’s little-known indigenous grapes such as Zibbibo, Nerello or Frappato.
So take your group of friends to Sicily’s most lively wine regions scattered across the island. This itinerary combines awarded wines paired with superb dining, up-scale accommodations as well as in-depth cultural touring of Sicily’s historical attractions.
Flying into Palermo you’ll be privately transferred to La Foresteria Estate, Planeta family’s wine resort set between the vineyards and the sea. Take a dip in the pool and unwind over a delicious dinner washed down with Planeta’s awarded wines.
From the rolling vine-covered hills of the wine country of Menfi to the scenic Salt Route, birthplace of the Marsala wine, day 2 promises stunning scenery and super interesting wines. While Marsala is world-famous especially as a dessert wine, you’ll try it dry and learn to serve it cold and paired with a blue cheese as a surprising aperitif.
Tomorrow you’ll make your way to the most magnificent archaeological site in Sicily, the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. Marvel at the classical perfection of the Concordia temple as your guide tells you of an ancient time when Akragas was the fourth largest city in the western world.
Leaving the coast you’ll travel to the inner countryside to Tasca d’AlmeritaEstate. You’ll be surrounded by the vineyards, a huge wheat plantation, almond and olive groves. Greeted in the beautiful courtyard on an aperitivo, enjoy every single minute of your stay in this aristocratic country home with its unique insight into Sicilian wine, history and tradition.
From breakfast to dinner in the beautiful dining room, here you’re like family and the home cook will prepare you the most authentic Sicilian food of your trip. Tomorrow linger poolside or explore the estate. 20 km of trails in the 500 hectares of the farm crossing vineyards, water basins, lakes and forest make it a wonderful place for a walk or a bike ride.
ETNA WINES PLUS A SURPRISE
Time to resume the journey and head east to one of those stage unique in the world. The highest active volcano in Europe, Mt Etna, is a magic place and its unique terroir gives wines considered some of Italy’s most intriguing.
There must be something very special about this land indeed if today cool winemakers from all Italy and Europe have come here to make wine. From 4WD adventures and lunar landscapes to stunning treks with epic vistas, you’ll discover this region as you visit premium wineries like Tenuta delle Terre Nere, Passopisciaro and Benanti and taste exciting wines at the most visionary among the pioneers of natural Etna wines, Frank Cornelissen.
Your hotel stands amidst a huge orange grove, let’s see what some young entrepreneurs did from a brilliant vision: produce a trendy and iper successful liqueur made with Sicilian Red Orange peels in the family’s historic orange grove. While you taste it in the “masseria” don’t forget to write down a couple of cocktail recipes to make once back home. Remember, serve it iced.
On your last evening in the area choose between Taormina for a lovely walk, a scenic sundowner and a superb dinner – or let you guide whisk you away on a gastronomic adventure to explore Catania’s street food and nightlife scene.
THE SOUTH-EAST, BIODYNAMIC and AMPHORA-AGED WINES
For the last stretch of the journey you’ll head south to the rolling hills of the Val di Noto region, a pristine and authentic region filled with a wealth of historical, cultural and culinary attractions. Stroll lovely baroque towns built in honey-coloured stone and taste the best local labels of Nero d’Avola and Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
In 1980 three friends decided to use their family’s vineyard and abandoned cellars and founded COS. They had no idea they were embarking on a successful adventure that would have changed the destiny of the area and started the renaissance of local winemaking. In 2000, they started experimenting with wines aged in large clay amphorae, and Pithos, their cult wine, was born.
But this remote corner of Sicily has more success stories. Thirty-year-old Arianna Occhipinti and one of the largest producers of biodynamic wine is today one of the vignerons who have been recognized by critics for producing high-quality wine.
The present itinerary and the suggested accommodation are just examples to give you an idea of what your customised trip may look like. Get in touch to design together your very own trip to Sicily.
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MENFI, LA FORESTERIA PLANETA
Belonging to Sicilian wine’s producers Planeta family and arguably one of Sicily's prime wine hotels, La Foresteria Planeta Estate stands between the vineyards and the sea. The private beach club is at 10 minutes drive from the estate and the colourful and refined individually decorated rooms have all a private terrace.
TASCA D’ALMERITA REGALEALI ESTATE
There are special places where elegance is effortless and where hospitality and conviviality are like a natural gift. Just nine country style rooms are clustered around the beautiful courtyard where at its center the great Magnolia tree has welcomed people for centuries. From breakfast to dinner in the beautiful dining room, here you’re like family and the home cook will prepare you the most authentic Sicilian food of your trip.
RIPOSTO, ZASH COUNTRY BOUTIQUE HOTEL
Manor houses at the slopes of Mount Etna have always been surrounded by a citrus grove that in Sicily we simply call the garden. Housed in one of these 1800’s houses and set amidst a huge citrus grove, your design hotel has a wonderful SPA. Only 13 rooms, some are in the main house or located in the old wine cellar and the remaining scattered in the garden with huge glass walls and windows that make you feel at one with the garden. The restaurant on property has been awarded with one Michelin star.
NOTO, COUNTRYHOUSE VILLADORATA
Cristina Summa’s luxury country resort amidst olive and almond groves, Countryhouse Villadorata is a refined oasis of peace at few minutes from the city of Noto. The property is eco-friendly, producing most of its own electricity by harnessing photovoltaic and thermal solar energy. We mostly love Ulivo, Palmento and Bouganville residences all with verandas or terraces and a private pergola. Ulivo has its own private swimming pool.
About WINE & FOOD Way of Travel
How many times we’ve heard - and said - that food and wine are the key to a country's discovery? Well, it is still very true. And Sicily? No one on earth would question it is a culinary wonderland.
To be honest in all our itineraries you’ll eat and drink extremely well… that’s Sicily! but the itineraries below will give you an idea of what your food or wine focused journey will look like.