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The region with the capital Palermo is the largest with 25,703 km² land area Italy and also the largest island in the Mediterranean. These include the southwestern island Pantelleria and the north-east Aeolian Islands, The Greeks founded Sicily from the 8th century. v. Some colonies and called them after the triangular form Trinacria. Later, they gave her the final name after the Siculi hill tribe. They brought with them their winemaking techniques and vines, including the antique varieties Eugenia and Murgentina, These were later brought to central Italy and planted. The Murgentina flourished as "Pompejanische grape" particularly well on the volcanic soil at the Vesuvhängen in Pompeii and in the ancient Etruscan city of Clusium (Chiusi in Tuscany). The cities of Syracuse and Taormina (on Etna) developed into flourishing wine trade centers. Documentary testified vineyards there are from the settlement Akragas (Agrigento) from the 5th Jhdt. v. Sicily played an important role in the development of Italian viticulture.
In the wake of the Second Punic War, the island was in 212 BC. A Roman province and above all used as a granary. At the of Pliny the Elder (23-79) ancient wines Two from Sicily seem up. The first one is Mamertinum from Messina, who was allegedly appreciated by Julius Caesar (100-44 BC). The second one is Haluntium from Syracuse, whose successor was the Moscato di Siracusa could be. From the 7th to the 9th century Sicily came under Ottoman rule. Although they tolerated the viticulture, but it became predominantly raisins produced. The Ottomans brought with them the art of burning, which was taken over by the Catholic orders. In the Middle Ages, grain was the most important agricultural product. From the 14th century, the vineyards expanded and Sicilian wines were exported to northern Italy and Constantinople.
The vineyards cover about 101,000 hectares of vineyards, making Sicily by far the largest Italian wine-growing region (which corresponds approximately to the vineyards of Germany ). They are up to 900 meters above sea level, especially in the west and the southeast. The Mediterranean climate is characterized by very hot, dry summers with little rainfall. Especially in the south of the island African conditions prevail. By the slopes with intense sunlight and large temperature fluctuations between day and night, there are very good conditions for viticulture. The lean soils are mostly of volcanic origin.
A leader takes the production of table grapes on. A specialty in ancient times were Sweet wines, Nothing has changed to this day. Towards the end of the 18th century, the Englishman John invented here Woodhouse the dessert wine Marsala which made the island mainly known as a wine supplier. The vast majority of wine production is for the distillation or for mass wines simple embossing used. And only a quarter of the total amount of wine is bottled on the island. Only in 2005 took place with the red wine Cerasuolo di Vittoria the very first DOCG classification. The 6th IGT areas are Avola, Fontanarossa the Cerda, Salemi, Salina, Terre Siciliane and Valle Belice. The 24 DOC / DOCG areas are: