Sicily has a long history of wine production thanks to its fertile land and warm climate of Southern Italy. But over the past 20 years, Sicily has well and truly earned its place as one of the top Italian regions for wine production.
Sicily is now home to some of the favorite wines of top sommeliers from around the world and Sicilian wineries and vineyards are becoming tourist attractions that discerning travelers do not want to miss.
Italy’s largest island not only produces fantastic wine but also manages to offer a wide variety, from the famous and traditional e.g. Marsala, to the contemporary and experimental wines produced by some of the wineries in this list.
While you can find fantastic wineries across the island, our favorites have to be those produced on Mt. Etna, Europe’s most active volcano that characterizes the unique landscape of Eastern Sicily. We think a visit to one of Mt. Etna’s wineries is one of the most special experiences we offer our guests.
In this list you will find a selection of our favourite wineries in Sicily, all adding something remarkable to the wine culture.
All those mentioned can be visited as part of the special wine and food tour we offer our guests, and can be tailored to suit your interests. Many of those mentioned can also be used for unique events and special occasions.
Let us know what you had in mind! Our team of Sicily experts takes delight in delivering events and experiences to remember.
Whether you are looking to plan a special occasion dinner, a wedding celebration, or a party to remember, holding an event in a Sicilian vineyard can be a highly tailored and memorable experience.
Contact us for detailed information about the events we can plan or custom-made tours and itineraries we can realise for our guests.
La vendemmia (grape harvest)
The grape harvest in Sicily (vendemmia) happens during September and October, and it is one of the most beautiful times of year in Sicily as the vines are full of fruit and ripe for picking. The grapes in Sicily have been ripening throughout the year, soaking up every drop of the Sicilian sun!
Now its time for the next phase: wineries across the island are picking the plump fruits, and depending on the size of the vineyards, this harvesting process can take between a day to a week.
The harvesting dates vary across the island depending on the location and conditions of the vineyard (such as altitude and soil type), but on Etna, it typically takes place in the last 2 weeks of September.
Best wineries to visit in Sicily
Most wine lovers who come to experience the wine of the island will be looking to discover the Etna D.O.C as part of their journey. The D.O.C (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) is a label used to classify and protect Italy’s most important territories.
Being given this label, Etna has been recognized as one of those special areas. The vines that surround the base of the volcano are hardy to say the least!
They are over one hundred years old and have survived hundreds of eruptions, big and small, and endless showering of dust, ash, and even lava.
It’s the earthiness and mineral-rich qualities of the soil here that give Etna wines their uniqueness. Parco dell’Etna is a particularly noteworthy site as it has been a UNESCO site since 2013.
That means the site is given special protections and is managed closely so that the area is able to flourish to its highest potential.
Let’s find out the best wineries in Sicily and ones we like to take our guests for experiencing our local, and world-famous, wine.
Cottanera winery (Mount Etna)
At the realm of the Cottanera winery is Mariangela Cambria, a woman who has worked with the Etna territory and succeeded in producing one of the best wines available and standing out above many competitors in the region.
Women play an integral role in the running of Cottanera; alongside Mariangela there is a team of 25 women who do the manual work and harvest the grape; still a rather rare setup in the largely male-dominated industry of winemaking.
This winery is located on the northern side of Mt. Etna, close by the medieval hilltop town of Castiglione di Sicilia.
Tenute di Fessina winery
Upon taking the role as owner of Tenute di Fessina in 2007, Silvia Maestrelli pledged to create “a place of beauty, between earth and spirit”.
The winery develops Etna D.O.C wines and provides hospitality that is an ode to the heritage of their territory.
There are seven rooms on-site, all of which pay homage to the role they once played in the historical use of the land.
For example, you could stay in the Cannedda room which was once used by farmers to deposit the grapes to be crushed.
Now it has been transformed into a charming room of understated elegance, where you can enjoy a special getaway in a vineyard setting with views of mighty Etna.
The vineyards of Tenute di Fessina are poised 675 metres above sea level, with the estate situated in the small town of Rovittello.
During a tour of Fessina, you will discover the seven hectares of mainly Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio grapes, along with a smaller amount of the Carricante and Minella types.
They are found tucked away in an amphitheater that coincidentally provides the ideal hospitality.
Inevitably, at the Tenuta di Fessina, guests are educated about the preservation of the century-old vines, the ancient stones, and the ashes of the volcano that gives the product its earthy and unique qualities.
Pietra Dolce winery (Mount Etna)
The Pietra Dolce winery stands out for the eco-friendly approach it has taken to wine production. It is a boutique-sized winery run by brothers Michele and Mario Faro, who are considered experts of the Etna wine region.
The pair have gained a great reputation for their fusion of ancient methods with modern technology for a sustainable approach.
They work with native grapes and pre-Phylloxera vineyards that are around one hundred years old.
The owners pride themselves on remaining true to the essence of the Etna area that they inject into every stage of production and are evident to the taste buds in the final product.
For those whose passion for wine is paired with an affinity for modern architecture and design, an experience at this winery will be particularly appreciated.
Pietra Dolce’s contribution to the Sicily wine scene has been recognized with numerous awards including receiving Gambero Rosso’s “2016 Red Wine of the Year” for its product Vigna Barbagalli. During a special visit to Pietra Dolce, you can taste it right at the source!
Barone di Villagrande winery and wine resort (Mount Etna)
The Villagrande wine resort has a long history, having been cultivating vineyards on Etna since the 18th century. In fact, it is the oldest winery on Etna, and over the years they have sought to perfect their craft.
A visit to the wine resort gives an opportunity to eat in the on-site restaurant where you can sample the wines with accompanying flavours from Etna and discover the most optimal food pairings.
By checking in and staying at the Barone di Villagrande resort, you can spend a night or two surrounded by forests and vineyards, accompanied with views up to Mt. Etna and down towards the bay of Taormina.
This is a chance to truly immerse your senses in the world of Etna wine production.
Palmento Costanzo winery (Mount Etna)
Hosted in a renovated building dating back to 1700, the Palmento Costanzo winery is one of the oldest in Sicily.
This is an Etna winery; set in the UNESCO-protected Parco dell’Etna, specifically the small village Contrada Santo Spirito, which itself is worth visiting for its beauty.
Palmento Costanzo prides itself on its offer to bring people together over their passions for wine and the Etna region.
Part of what sets them apart is their dedication to organic practices and manual cultivation methods. An example of its quality products is the Mofete Rosso, a popular red wine made from the native Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio grapes, picked from vines of thirty years old.
A visit to Palmento Costanzo will enable wine-lovers to explore scenic vineyards, learn about the soil and production methods, and of course taste the final products paired with local cheeses and cured meats.
Donnafugata is one of the most famous wineries in Sicily, and has played a big role in carving out the status of Sicily on the international wine scene.
The Donnafugata brand has numerous wineries around Sicily, and it has gained a fashionable reputation.
This winery recently collaborated with Dolce & Gabbana, creating an elegant Sicilian rose wine that represents the elegance that the luxury fashion house and the Donnafugata estate have in common.
Donnafugata owns wineries across multiple territories, namely Marsala, Pantelleria, Etna and Vittoria, each producing its own unique blends and varieties.
A visit to these locations will allow you to gain insight into how conditions and production varies in different corners of Sicily. The experts at the Donnaguata wineries will welcome you and share their knowledge with passion.-
These are just a few of our favourite wineries in Sicily. Whether you are a wine-lover looking to take an exclusive winery tour or to hold an event in a remarkable location, our knowledge of the island means we can suggest just the right place!
Get in touch with our experts and let’s start planning an exclusive experience to remember.