Even though the island makes large quantities of wine, its only DOCG wine region – for the moment – is a red wine. It’s called Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
“Cerasuolo” derives from the word cherry, and Vittoria is the central town of the region. Here a special red grape originates called Frappato.
Frappato does well in sandy soil and ripens late in the year and gives wines with pale color and delicate fruit. In the past this grape wasn’t considered powerful enough, and has hence always traditionally been blended with Calabrese which is better known as Nero d’Avola. The latter is widespread around Sicily and makes up a big part of quaffable reds and its reputation has as such suffered a bit. Nero d’Avola ripens earlier (so it is usually planted in places where Frappato cannot ripen well) and gives a stronger color and a deeper texture with its higher alcohol, good acidity and tannin.
In the appellation Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG the two grapes must be combined. A 50-50 ratio is ideal so Nero d’Avola doesn’t overpower the character of the Frappato.
The Classico area corresponds to the original area of production in the center of the appellation, which goes back to the DOC boundaries established in 1973. In 2005 the area was bumped up to DOCG and the zone expanded with a sort of outer ring that cannot use the Classico designation so merely by labeled as Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
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