Carole Bouquet Passito Di Pantelleria 2006
The soil of the Moscato di Pantelleria, from the Carole Bouquet Vineyard, is composed of 70% volcanic stone and 30% clay and limestone. The Moscato di Pantelleria is made with a variety called "Muscat of Alexandria", locally named "Zibbido" (meaning "grape to dry"). Aromas are very strong and these grapes show a great resistance to climatic elements. Vines grow in many different levels in the vineyard called "en terrasses", and are surrounded by little walls of stone which protect the vineyard feom the wind,because in Pantelleria, the wind blows about 321 days a year. Grapes are hand-picked, then once selected, are laid on the ground dry in the sun. This is called "passerillage". After two or three weeks of the drying process, grapes are added to a fermentating wine in order to increase the richness of the wine. After the fermentations and once allowed to naturally clear, the wine is bottled.
A large, geographically and climatically diverse island, just off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. But it is also a wonderful source of diverse, high quality red and white wines. Steadily increasing in popularity over the past few decades, Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region is finally receiving the accolades it deserves and shining in today's global market.
Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, variations on the sun-drenched island range from cool Mediterranean along the coastlines to more extreme in its inland zones. Of particular note are the various microclimates of Europe's largest volcano, Mount Etna, where vineyards grow on drastically steep hillsides and varying aspects to the Ionian Sea. The more noteworthy red and white wines that come from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna include Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio (reds) and Carricante (whites). All share a racy streak of minerality and, at their best, bear resemblance to their respective red and white Burgundies.
Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, and is great either as single varietal bottling or in blends with other indigenous varieites or even with international ones. For example, Nero d'Avola is blended with the lighter and floral, Frappato grape, to create the elegant, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, one of the more traditional and respected wines of the island.
Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are also used to produce aromatic, crisp dry whites. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.
Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of white grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.