Since the very first traces of human life appeared on the island, wine has been synonymous with Sicily. It’s intrinsically tied to the area’s history; winemaking in the region has spanned from the wild vines of yore to the Greeks’ grape cultivation to production under the Roman Empire to today’s variety of wineries and grapes that thrive in the Italian region.

Viticulture is deeply embedded in Sicily, and it’s evident in the exceptional bottles the region produces. While Sicily’s producers grow an array of quality grapes, they all have a few things in common.

They make fresh, vibrant and sustainable wine. At just under 30,000 hectares, Sicily has the highest proportion of organic vineyards in Italy. Sicily’s 65-plus indigenous grapes are what make this gorgeous place so special.

Take nero d’avola, the “king of Sicilian vine varieties,” for example. Successfully cultivated all over the island, it’s a vigorous plant that yields red wines that are rich in personality, with fruity, floral and spicy notes.

A large cut of crusted meat with a Nero D'Avola Sicilia DOC wine and glass

They have excellent taste structure and are pleasantly full-bodied. Grillo, on the other hand, is a white Sicilian grape that’s been cultivated since at least the late 1800s. Mainly widespread in the Trapani province, the medium-large berries of this vine create the most aromatic, herbaceous wine with a deep straw yellow colour and citrus notes.

The Sicilia DOC is the first organization in the history of Sicily that was created to protect and preserve the island’s indigenous grapes. The next time you spot the Sicilia DOC designation on a bottle at the LCBO, you know it’s guaranteed to be of the highest quality, and a wine that follows that island’s respected winemaking traditions.

Sicilia DOC: White grapes

A beautiful plate of pasta on a table with a glass of white Sicilia DOC wine

Lucido or Cataratto, Inzolia, Grecanico dorato, Moscato d’Alessandria or Zibibbo and Carricante have all been cultivated in Sicily since ancient times. The island’s white wines run the gamut from crisp, to juicy and complex.

Sicilia DOC: Terroir

Beautiful vineyards in Sicily, Italy

Sicily is a beautifully hilly and mountainous island, and some vineyards reach nearly 4,000 feet above sea level. Much of the soil is made from chalk, gypsum
and limestone, and the land has been shaped by its unique geology and tectonic events.

Sicilia DOC: Red Grapes

Clipping red grapes in a Sicilian vineyard

Sicily’s red grapes are its original claim to fame. Nerello Mascalese, Frappato, Nerello Cappuccio, Perricone, Alicante or Grénache and Nocera are native varieties grown throughout the land and yield a variety of wines from deep and dark to young and bright.

Sicilia DOC: Climate

A vineyard and a sailboat on the ocean in Sicily, Italy

Like many parts of the Mediterranean, Sicily enjoys a pleasantly warm climate with very little rain. The temperature fluctuation caused by the isle’s mountains impacts the freshness, acidity and flavours of the wine.

To learn more about Sicilia DOC wines, head to