The Wine Trails of Sicily Through Culture and the Arts of Pleasure part IV
CASTELLI NISSENI – RIESI DOC – CERASUOLO DI VITTORIA DOCG – VAL DI NOTO
Driving further north-west, from Sciacca, entering the heart of the island, take the Strada del vino dei Castelli Nisseni, the Wine Route of the Castles of Caltanissetta, where the famous Nero d’Avola grape clings to the archaeological sites of Morgantina and its famous statue of Venus. Visit also Caltanissetta with its hundreds churches the brand new Archeological Museum of Caltanissetta , completed after 50 years from the initial project! and You will encounter Piazza Armerina with its amazing Villa Romana del Casale or ” Roman Villa Del Casale”and. the DOC here is the Riesi. Last but not least Sperlinga with its magnificent Castle.
This castle has become famous as a result of the events linked to the Sicilian Vespers: just in this fortress found refuge a garrison of French, together with a group of Sicilians led by Petro de Alemanno , as reported by the historian Michele Amari, was able to resist the assaults for 13 months before finally capitulate. See also The French in Sicily
Proceeding furher south-east, as famous as the Nero Nisseno, you can delight the Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Sicily’s only DOCG, (which consists of 30-50% Frappato and 50-70% of Nero d’Avola) signed as the Wine Route of Cerasuolo, includes the Sicilian capitals of Baroque in Val di Noto: Noto, Modica, ( the city of chocolate), Scicli and Ragusa Iblea, a real jewel, just to name a few. Natural trails to visit in the area: Pantalica, Vendicari Natural Reservation, Capo Passero and the Island of Currents
Then Siracusa, the city of Saint Lucy and Archimedes of Syracuse, once capital of the Magna Greciae and the Byzantines, with its Route of the Ancient Myths. It is s really a charm, especially if you can visit the Island of Ortigia, and taste along with the Moscato of Siracusa, enjoying the famous “pasta con le sarde“, pasta with sardines, the quintessential dish that embodies this unique land.
This mouthwatering dish has been attributed to the Arab general Euphemius to celebrate his arrival in Siracusa, 950 circa, together with the Fatimid general, Jawhar as-Siquilli (“the Sicilian”), founder of the city of Cairo, Egypt. The Pasta con le sarde, strictly prepared with “maccarruna”, also invented for the first time in Sicily (see also Itriya, Trabia , Palermo, the Museum of Pasta) have different variations along the island but the main component must be: pine nuts, wild fennel, resins and saffron, and of course fresh sardines. See also
Remember in Sicily is a seasonable dish, so the best period to enjoy it is between March and September!
Will be certainly important and unforgettable to visit Pachino, (the name of this little city is a term of endearment of a Roman name and stands for “Bacchino“ or “little Bacchus” the land of good wines, home of the “Pachino cherry tomato”, the best in the world and sea food fish dishes. Marzamemi is an ancient little fishermen’s village not to be missed.
The Wine Trails of Sicily Through Culture and the Arts of Pleasure
by Salvatore Cottone New York, July 2013
CottoneTranslation and editing by www.OnpointTranslation
Continue reading READ PART V>>>
To complete our tour through “Culture and Arts of Pleasure” of Sicily drive from south-east toward the “Mongibeddu “, in Sicilian, “the Beautiful Mountain”, entering the Etna Wine Route ,which extends along the entire the foot of the the biggest active volcano of Europe. With its particular climate, and microclimates has a very fertile soil lava for unique varieties such as Carricante, indigenous white grape , Nerello Mascalese, according to Homer “Ulysses’s wine”, Nerello Cappuccio/Mantellato and Minnella, all grapes variety part of the Etna Rosso DOC .
This year 2013 the Etna Park has been included by UNESCO among its Patrimony : In addition to wine, and food delicatessen the beauty of an unspoiled corner of nature really.
Visit “Bronte” The city of pistachios” is a must: along with hundreds of dishes based on this delicious fruit, you can also visit the Norman Church, incorporated inside the Nelson’s Castle and the beautiful Simeto Valley and the Nebrodi Park. From the sharp volcanic land with gentle slopes of the Aeolian Islands to finish the wine tour with the wine route in the province of Messina, from the city of the strait to the seven sisters of the Mediterranean. The DOC of the Faro and Mamertino, cultivated along the hills of the “Nebrodi Mountains”, accompany offshore until the unmistakable taste of Malvasia, friendly and passionate just like Sicily.