To begin, on Saturday May 6th, we will follow along as the riders travel through their first seven stages, tasting wines from Sardegna, Sicily, and Calabria.
Sardegna, best known for being the second largest island in the Mediterranean and an autonomous region of Italy, has been under the rule of numerous kingdoms and empires which have created a very diverse and unique culture directly influencing its wine production. Its wine industry is characterized by grapes that are not commonly seen in Italy. One of the more popular grapes is Cannanau which is a special variety that is otherwise known as Grenache, a grape that produces very explosive wines on the palate.
Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, is known for being the center of viniculture and Italy’s exciting “new” wine region. Its beautiful climate is perfect for growing grapes which started way back in 600 BC when the Greeks introduced viticulture to the island. However, Sicily wasn’t always been known for its splendid wines. Sicily sold mass produced, cheap wines off in vats for blending. And when their wine market started crashing, Sicily went through a “renaissance” resulting in using low-yield vines and creating smaller batches of lesser known to almost unheard of wines like Frappato and Catarratto which helped earn its fame in the wine world.
Similar to Sicily, Calabria was strongly influenced by the Greeks whom were the first to bring wine bearing vines to the region. For a time period Calabria was famous throughout Italy and Europe for its wine. It’s most famous and oldest wine, Ciro, gaining immense prestige in the wine world. However, when competition arose from regions in France such as Bordeaux, Calabria lost its glory in the wine industry. While it may not have gained back its popularity that it once held Calabria‘s Ciro still holds its well-known reputation for being an amazing wine and is a treat to taste!