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 award-winning 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, the 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 award-winning wines.
From the rolling vine-covered hills of the wine country of Menfi to the scenic Salt Road, 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 inland to the Tasca d’Almerita Estate. You’ll be surrounded by the vineyards, a huge wheat plantation, almond and olive groves. Greeted in the beautiful courtyard with 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 for 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 high class winemakers from all over 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 with vision have created: a trendy and hyper 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 your 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 around 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 changed the destiny of the area and start 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, one of the largest producers of biodynamic wine, has received much critical acclaim for her 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
Owned by Sicilian wine producers the 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 each have 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. One of these 19th century houses, set amidst a huge citrus grove and with a wonderful SPA, is your Design hotel. There are only 13 rooms, some in the main house or located in the old wine cellar while the rest are scattered about in the garden - their huge glass walls and windows making you feel at one with the garden. The on-site restaurant has been awarded a Michelin star.
NOTO, COUNTRYHOUSE VILLADORATA
Cristina Summa’s luxury country resort amidst olive and almond groves, Countryhouse Villadorata is a refined oasis of peace a 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 particularly love the Ulivo, Palmento and Bouganville residences which all have verandas or terraces and a private pergola. The Ulivo has its own private swimming pool.
About WINE & FOOD Way of Travel
How many times have we heard - and said - that food and wine are the keys to discovering a country? 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 centred journey will look like.