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Discovering a unique territory, characterized by research, sustainability, respect for the environment

An incoming on the southernmost island of our peninsula, guests of its Consortium for the Protection of
Wines, allowed us to deepen our knowledge of the Grillo and Nero d’Avola varieties thanks to dedicated
seminars, as well as discovering the little-known biological vocation of its wine sector.
A journey to discover how an intensely planted area has identified, in sustainability and respect for the
environment, the foundations of its wine system. The key figure is undoubtedly Antonio Rallo, president of
DOC Sicilia and well-known producer, to whom we asked how long he has been leading the Consorzio
Tutela Vini as President. He begins: “I have promoted and followed the birth of this Consortium – together
with other producers who have believed in this project from the beginning – since the Designation of
Controlled Origin Sicily was officially recognized in 2011, with a Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture , Food
and Forestry. The following year marked the year the Consortium was founded and my election as
Chairman of the Board. In 2022 we will celebrate 10 years of activity, 10 years during which the essential
purpose of the Consortium was to implement initiatives aimed at protecting, promoting and enhancing our
DOC, informing the consumer and ensuring that the provisions indicated in the Production are respected “.
Can you tell So Wine So Food what goals you believe you have achieved and what are your desires still to
be developed?
“First of all, it should be remembered the foresight of those who contributed to the birth of the Doc Sicilia,
of the producers of the generation preceding mine who considered the Doc the necessary tool to be able to
concretely enhance and safeguard the wine production of the island. It has come a long way since then.
There have been many bets won in this decade “. He continues smiling “What has given us so much
satisfaction is that of having focused on Grillo and Nero d’Avola, which are becoming more and more
recognized ambassadors of our island. Another element of satisfaction, the Consortium has managed to
give greater value to the name of our island Sicily, also fundamental for the Denomination that can use it as
a mention from the Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG to the other DOC Vittoria, Menfi, Noto, Sclafani or
Valledolmo County, Eloro , Contessa Entellina. Some of the challenges for the future concern the
conservation of biodiversity, the recovery of relic vines and their enhancement “.
During the conference ‘Sustainable Sicily by nature’ promoted by the SOStain Foundation, born with the
aim of promoting ethical and sustainable development in the Sicilian wine sector in particular, many were
in-depth studies with dedicated seminars on the Grillo and Nero d’Avola varieties. . In the presentation of
the context, some data were provided including that with almost 98 thousand hectares, the Sicilian
vineyard in general is the largest in Italy, in Europe it has the same extension as the German vineyard and in
the world it measures three times that of New Zealand, even surpassing the South African one.
Furthermore, the island is currently the first region in Italy by area under organic vines in which over 90
million DOC Sicilia bottles were produced last year, a good 64 million in the first 8 months of this year which
represent the great work of almost 8 thousand producers to whom the Consortium offers support. Antonio
comments: “Our region is first in Italy for agricultural area dedicated to organic production, equal to 30,084
hectares. An area that corresponds to three times the organic vineyard in Veneto, almost double that of
Puglia and double that of Tuscany, equal to 34% of the Italian organic cultivated area. We are proud of this
”. He then exclaims “Today more than ever, sustainability is the lens through which to look to the future of
Sicilian wine, and in particular to that of the Sicily brand, which is constantly growing. Thanks also to the
SOStain Sicily Foundation, we are the first Region to have developed an integrated sustainability protocol in
a unified and shared way “.
We found the wines of the tasting panels dedicated to both Grillo and Nero d’Avola, bottled as Sicilia DOC,
of a medium-high quality, with some peaks for both varieties, aimed at undoubtedly conveying the
message of a fresh wine, modern, with a high rate of sustainability, which does not require special
occasions for consumption. Do you think there is room for further improvements and if so in what areas?
Before saying goodbye, Antonio says “Surely from the point of view of production and offer, there is a lot of
attention to the care of our varied territories . We are always engaged in research for an improvement of
processes both in the vineyard and in the cellar. We are sure of obtaining further results thanks to the
collaboration of the Consortium with companies, universities and institutions “.
This visit left us with a feeling that the wine of this island, in particular the one protected by Sicilia DOC, is
really highly sustainable, with an average quality with excellent pleasantness.

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