Pellegrino Sweet Marsala
Alcohol content: 18%
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
"Marsala" production didn't begin until 1773, but grapes have been grown and wines have been made in this little corner of Sicily for thousands of years. In the mid 1700s, when the popularity of fortified wines from Oporto and Jerez grew immensely, British wine merchants explored possibilities of producing a similar product in other regions. The heady wines of dry, windswept Sicily fit the bill perfectly. As in Port production, brandy was added to the barrels and the resulting liqueur, with varying degrees of sweetness, was an immediate sensation.
About 100 years later, Paolo Pellegrino began his Marsala business. Now, Pellegrino---still completely family owned---is the largest producer in the region. They have nearly 1000 acres of vineyards and produce a full range of DOC Marsala.
Because of the natural climate of western Sicily---low levels of rainfall, hot temperatures and dry winds---treatments in the vineyards are rarely needed. All the grapes vines grown in the area can truly be called "eco-friendly." And these grapes are not seen in many other regions---Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia for the whites; Pignatello and Nero'Avola for the reds.
In Italy, Dry Marsala is enjoyed as the aperitivo and Sweet Marsala after dessert.