Grapes: Sicilian White Grapes
According to legend, Dionysus (aka Bacchus) was the God who brought pleasure to mankind, and wine to Sicily.
Legend aside, it is certain that wine has been made in Sicily for millennia. There is evidence that Mycenaean traders cultivated grapes in the Aeolian Islands as early at 1,500 BC and when the Greeks began to settle in Sicily in the 8th century BC, they too were unable forgo their favourite libation, “oinos”, and introduced several varieties of vines.
The next important date in Sicilian wine history is 1773, the year John Woodhouse started producing what was to become one of the island’s most famous products: Marsala.
Woodhouse understood immediately that the decent local wine could be transformed, using in perpetuum techniques (similar to the solera system used to make sherry), which, through the addition of alcohol, would not only fortify the wine but also help it survive the sea journey back to England intact. It was an instant success with the British, and other entrepreneurs, such as Ingham and Whitaker, soon hurried out to exploit the wine’s popularity.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the English dominion in Marsala-making was brought to an end by the arrival of Vincenzo Florio, one of Italy’s first tycoons, who bought up much of the land around Marsala. Cantine Florio, though in different hands today, remains one of the best producers of Marsala and a visit of their enormous barrel-filled winery is recommended.
For most of the 20th century, Sicily continued to produce enormous quantities of grapes, most of which, however, were exported to be added to wine made elsewhere in Italy.
The last 20 years have seen enormous changes to the island’s wine culture and, as the many international prizes won by Sicilian producers confirm, some of Italy’s finest wines are now being made in Sicily. A new generation of Sicilian producers are realising the full potential of the island’s enviable climate, its autochthonous grape varieties and its fertile soil.
Founded in 1970 as a cooperative of growers from the south-west of Sicily in the province of Trapani, this Cantina is the largest in Sicily with 2,118 members who cultivate about 8,100 Ha. of vineyards in the provinces of Trapani, Palermo and Agrigento, with 5 cellars distributed throughout the territory.
The main white grape varieties are grown Grillo , Catarratto , Grecanico , Inzolia , Chardonnay, Viognier , Zibibbo , Fiano and Sauvignon Blanc , the reds are: Nero d’ Avola , Syrah , Merlot , Cabernet Sauvignon, Frappato , Sangiovese, Perricone and Nerello Mascalese .
The vineyards are located in areas with a wide diversity of soils and climate and are found from the coastal area to an altitude of 600m above sea level. We are increasing the production of grapes from organic farming. The vicoltori are followed and recommended throughout the year in order to get the grapes that express the full potential of each terroir, the grapes are then transformed according to a strict schedule of reservation and delegation, in our cellars that are equipped with modern processing technology. Each winery group has been specialized for the processing of specific varieties, this allows us to better express the individual potential quality of our grapes, our areas and microclimates.
Each process is tracked and monitored at every stage by the winemakers of the group through a system of traceability, from the vineyard to the bottle.
Cantina Colomba Bianco follow a company policy to respect the environment and to save energy and therefore has been certified ISO 14001, also there is a continuous and constant analysis of the production process through the quality system certified BRC and IFS .
Our wine is present in England, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Holland, Finland, USA and China.