The Tasting Panel magazine

January / February 2018

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Page 89 of 124

january/february 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  89 january/february 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  89 Sicily AT STEMMARI, WINEMAKER LUCIO MATRICARDI BRINGS THE HISTORIC ISLAND'S SIGNATURE RED VARIETAL TO LIFE by David Gadd The Life's Blood of It's common knowledge that certain grape varieties become inextri- cably tied to one particular wine region. Much to the chagrin (or perhaps delight) of Barolo lovers, Nebbiolo has found little success outside Piedmont. Although Malbec grows readily elsewhere, it's in Argentina that it has built its modern reputation. And despite an Eastern European heritage, Zinfandel is now as tied to California as potatoes are to Idaho. The grape forever linked to Sicily is the red variety Nero d'Avola. Named for the town of Avola on the island's southeastern coast, where it was selected by local growers several centuries ago, Nero d'Avola has since spread throughout Sicily. Although Nero d'Avola is ubiquitous on the island—running like the life's blood of this deeply historic and tradition-rich place—its full potential has only recently been tapped. The pioneering Sicilian winery Stemmari is at the forefront of a movement to elevate Nero d'Avola into a varietal of international acclaim. PHOTOS COURTESY OF STEMMARI Harvest at Stemmari. ITALY

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