What island are you on? As we come into the summer months, wouldn’t it be amazing to explore the world, take on many adventures and surround yourself with great wine? I can take you there. Though it may be through the exploration of wine growing islands, I will show you the true beauty and define the best varietals in some of the world’s greatest island wine regions.
Sicily: After centuries of stagnation, this historical and fascinating island is now one of Italy’s most vital and improved wine regions. Sicily is very hot and irrigation is a necessity for a good half of Sicilian vineyards. There are countless grape varieties grown in different parts of the Island. One of the most iconic producers of the Island is Planeta, which has a winery in all of the Island’s major DOC’s. Planeta has been instrumental in the study of Sicily’s climate, terroir and is a leader in matching varietals to their best growing regions. Marsala is Sicily’s classic fortified wine, produced in both dry and sweet styles from the Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia grapes. Some of Sicily’s best wines are made from the indigenous red variety Nero D Avola, and the region’s only DOCG, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, is a blend of Nero D’Avola with Frappato.
Sardinia: This Island off Italy’s west coast produces a relatively high proportion of DOC and DOCG wines when compared to most other regions of the south. One of the most notable grapes grown on the Island is Cannonau di Sardegna. Cannonau is the Sardinian name for Grenache. One leading producer on this Island is Sella and Mosca, and even Dr. Oz agrees about this unique wine having been featured in his magazine with the proclamation to “Drink Cannonau wine and live past 100.”
New Zealand: One of the most remote wine producing wine regions in the world, his Island nation is a relative newcomer to the global wine industry. Having limited landmass, its wine production is fairly small, but the country has made a significant name for itself. New Zealand is comprised of two main Islands. The North Island is warmer and leads in the production of red wines. Hawkes Bay located on the North Island, produces more than 70% of all of New Zealand’s red wines, and the unique soil made of a mix of sedimentary sandstone and gravel allows Bordeaux varietals to grow well.
In the South Island, the Marlborough region is now home to nearly 60% of all of New Zealand’s vines. The most explosive growth has been in the planting of Sauvignon Blanc and top producers such as Cloudy Bay, Brancott, and Nobilo have given this region prominence in the production of Pinot Noir and especially Sauvignon Blanc.
No matter which Island you chose no matter what adventure you are seeking, worthy Island produced wines are available. This summer go to your own Island and take in the rich history, or get enriched with the newness that it has to offer. Whatever you chose, you will not be disappointed.