A photo of The Best Wine Tasting Tours in Sicily

wine tasting tours and winery visits

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Why Visit Sicily?

The Italian island of Sicily boasts a history of vine-growing that can be traced back thousands of years and a seriously delicious local cuisine, making it the perfect holiday destination for wine and food lovers! Aside from fantastic wine and food tasting opportunities, Sicily has a fascinating history and diverse culture influenced by colonisers from the Greeks to the Arabs, and stunning natural beauty with idyllic beaches and smoking volcanoes. All compressed into a small triangle of land in the Mediterranean Sea.     

In the past, Sicilian wine production focused on quantity and the island’s best-known export was the fortified wine of Marsala. However, since the 1980’s innovative local winemakers have been working to improve the quality and profile of Sicilian wines, with a focus on the island’s indigenous grape varieties. Sicily now boasts one of Italy’s most exciting wine industries, making it a fascinating destination for a wine tasting holiday. 
A number of ambitious winemakers are braving the rumblings of Mt Etna – the highest active volcano in Europe. Etna’s rich volcanic soil, microclimate and high altitude combine to create a unique terroir that produces some of the best, most critically acclaimed wines on Sicily. Experience Etna’s best wines for yourself on a privately guided or small group wine tasting tour.  

Italy is not lacking in foodie destinations however Sicilian cuisine is like no other. The island’s fertile soils produce a plethora of full-of-flavour fruit and vegetables and the surrounding seas are home to an abundance of seafood. Sicilian cuisine takes these incredible ingredients and gives them an exotic twist with Greek, Arab and Spanish influences. Don’t leave without trying Arancini, Sfincione, Sicilian Cassata and the mouth-watering pistachio ice-cream. The best way to sample the variety of local cuisine in Sicily is on a guided food tasting tour or try your hand at cooking Sicilian dishes with a cooking class.  

The Ancient Romans brought their wine production techniques to Sicily and these traditions still exist on the island. Don’t leave without sampling wine that has been aged, not in oak barrels, but in earthenware pots. The Winerist team can tell you which wineries offer this traditional experience.

Plan Your Visit

Best Known Grapes

Sicily is blessed with several indigenous grape varieties which the island’s winemakers and growers are excitedly embracing. Two of the most popular are Nero d’Avola which produces wines rich in red fruit aromas and is sometimes blended with Syrah and Merlot; and Grillo, a dry, aromatic white grape that makes the perfect aperitivo.  Other notable indigenous grape varieties include the reds of Frappato and Nerello Mascalese - a hardy vine traditionally grown on the slopes of Mt Etna; and the ancient, elegant white varieties of Inzolia and Catarratto (also known as Lucido).  
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Best time to visit

Sicily is the hottest and driest region of Italy, which makes it a year-round destination for a holiday. However, if you’re not comfortable in high temperatures you may wish to avoid the seriously warm summer months of July and August. During the winter, temperatures cool down, but it never gets too cold, and there are fewer tourists around during this time.   In our opinion the best time to visit Sicily is during the spring and autumn months, when the temperatures are not too hot and there is minimal chance of rainfall. It’s perfect weather for scaling Mt Etna, exploring by bicycle or even on horseback, visiting Sicily’s historic sights and, of course, sipping wine in the island’s wineries, surrounded by vineyards.  The harvest time in Sicily varies according to altitude, so it may start during mid-August in those estates located along the coastline and extend to late October in estates located in the mountains.
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How long to stay

Wine and food focused holidays in Sicily can be as short or as long as you wish! If you’re short on time enjoy a 3-day city break in Palermo filled with food walking tours, wine tasting experiences, and cultural sightseeing. Or base yourself in Catania and visit Taormina and the wineries on Mt Etna. We guarantee that after 3 days you’ll leave wanting to return! In a week you would have time to experience more than one wine region, visit more of the historical sites or enjoy R&R time on the beach. However, if you want to take a road trip around the island and get a real feel for Sicilian life, two weeks is the ideal amount of time to spend in Sicily.  
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How to get there

Sicily has four airports spread across the island: Palermo (north-west), Catania (east), Trapani (west) and Comiso (south-east). Palermo and Catania are the main two hubs. Palermo airport is around 19 miles west of the city centre. Catania airport is just 3 miles from downtown Catania. Trapani Birgi airport is halfway between Trapani and Marsala. Comiso airport is around nine miles from Ragusa. During your stay on the island the easiest way to get around is by car on a self-drive trip. Exploring by car offers the opportunity to travel at your own pace and discover hidden wineries and tiny villages that can only be found when journeying by car. We recommend booking your car in advance as it is typically cheaper than arranging it when you arrive.
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