Street of Wine of the Val di Noto
Wine and flavours of the territory
The Street of Wine of the Val di Noto is a cultural, food and wine itinerary that combines wines, flavours, typical dishes of the territory with the traces of the past that are still visible: between wine tasting and bites of local products, you’ll be overwhelmed by all the emotions this corner of Sicily has to offer.
Siracusa, Avola, Noto, Pachino and Rosolini
The stretch of the Street of Wine of the Val di Noto that runs parallel to the coast leads us to the discovery of the excellence of the land among Syracuse, Avola, Pachino, Rosolini and Noto. The sea is a constant factor, a horizon your eyes keep lingering on.
The golden beaches and the cliffs still preserve the memory of the ancient tuna-fishing nets. Enclosed by dry stone walls typical of the countryside in Sicilian farming traditions, citrus groves, carob trees, olive trees and almond trees prosper. Here, where time is marked by the rhythm of grape harvest, the vineyards of Moscato and Nero d’Avola grapes and the ancient wine vats are a living memory of the precious gift – the cultivation of vine – the Greeks bestowed on Sicily in the days of colonization. It was indeed in the territory of the Val di Noto that the Greeks spread the cultivation of head-trained bush vines (“vite ad alberello”).
In the Syracuse area, white Moscato grapes are transformed into the “Moscato di Siracusa”, an exquisite sweet dessert wine: the studies and discoveries of Saverio Landolina Nava showed that this is the most ancient Italian wine, the Pollio or Biblino already known and appreciated in the past.
Not only Moscato, though: here is cultivated a variety of lemon, the Syracusan Femminello, rich in juice, vitamin C and healthy beneficial qualities. Largely used in the food sector, it is a constant of the typical local cuisine and pastries.
The territory of Avola, Pachino and Noto is the birthplace of red wine: here the Nero d’Avola grape variety thrives, its fine red grapes transformed into this characteristic full-dobied Sicilian wine. Avola is also known for its typical “pizzuta” almond, one of the most renowned almond varieties in the world, the queen of confectionery and local pastry-making.
The land among Avola, Noto, Pachino Portopalo di Capo Passero and Rosolini produces the other excellences of Sicilian south-est viticulture: the “Moscato di Noto” and the Eloro wine, the latter obtained from Nero d’Avola, Frappato and Pignatello grapes.
The rich and precious basket of wines and typical products also includes the IGP Pachino Tomato and Cantaloup, the novella carrot, typical of Rosolini and Ispica, the tuna and swordfish jams.preserves.
In ancient times, Pachino was known as the “land of wines”: the many wineries of the areas – most of which have been restored and turned into wine museums – are the proof of the flourishing wine production that reached its climax in the early 20th century with a large increase of production and export.
The ancient winery Palmento di Rudinì in Marzamemi, built by marquis Antonio di Rudinì in 1897, was one of the most advanced sites for the production of wine, with a pumping and piping system that transported it to the harbor of Marzamemi, to be boarded on the ships headed towards North Italy and France.
Il Palmento di Rudinì
Typical productions of the Hyblaen Mounts
The mountain zone in the Syracusan area is known for several typical productions: the extra virgin olive oil; the meat of the Hyblaean black swine, a precious native race from which the typical sausage is made in Palazzolo Acreide; the honey, celebrated every year in a festival in Sortino.
The hyblaean fascitrari (beekeepers) hand down still today the ancient tradition of the production of thyme honey and other varieties like eucalyptus, orange blossom and blended honey.
Honey is used to prepare the piretti, hard biscuits made of flour, thyme honey and almond; the sfinci, leavened dough fried and dressed with honey; the sanfurricchi, cooked honey candies.
The spiritu ri fascitrari (honey makers’ liqueur) is the liqueur obtained by distilling the water derived by melting the wax, flavoured then with honey cooked over low heat for many hours.