Meagre volcanic soils, dry, hot summers with little rainfall and sun-drenched slopes offer excellent winegrowing conditions. Even so, less than 4% of the wine produced has DOC or DOCG status.
The largest island in the Mediterranean has had many rulers through the centuries. The Bourbon Empire was important for the wine industry at the beginning of the 19th century. France's great influence also extended to the wine cellars of Sicily.
Wines and grape varieties
Sicily has been known for its sweet wines since ancient times, and this has not changed to this day. Sweet Marsala is a world-famous speciality. About three quarters of the area under vines is taken up by white varieties such as Catarratto, Grillo, Trebbiano and Inzolia. Nero d'Avola is the most common red variety.
Vineyard area and production volume: 175 000 hectares, some 7.9 million hectolitres per year.