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Sicilia DOC invests in the future through sustainability measures and promotional campaigns

Sicilia DOC, or Denominazione di Origine Controllata Sicilia, was officially recognised on 22 November 2011 by a Decree of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, which also approved the relevant production rules.

The following year marked the founding of the Consorzio di Tutela Vini DOC Sicilia (Consortium for the Protection of Sicily DOC Wines).

The winegrowers, winemakers and producers that bottle DOC Sicilia decided to found the consortium to enhance and protect the island’s wine production.

It was set up to protect, promote and enhance Sicilia DOC, as well as inform consumers and look after the general interests of the denomination. The consortium has implemented activities and initiatives aimed at protecting Sicilia DOC, and guarantees strict compliance with all the stages and provisions set out in the production regulations. Through this commitment, the denomination is now recognised as a guarantee of quality and as a symbol not only of the region, but of Made in Italy production itself at home and abroad.

‘We have mapped more than 70 indigenous varieties. These have evolved over 2,500 years of viticulture in Sicily, but only a dozen are commonly grown today’

The past year has been a busy one. On the subject of sustainability, the Sustain Sicilia foundation was set up in 2020, to make the region’s wine production system more sustainable.

On the one hand, compared with other areas of Italy, it started from favourable climatic conditions, windy and dry, which would allow winemakers to easily implement good practices in the vineyard, limiting treatments, but on the other hand, it highlighted a need for winemakers to become more sustainable with energy and water.

As such, the consortium will measure its holdings every year, with the support of a certifying body, to improve production processes and leave a better territory for future generations.

Throughout 2020, the consortium has carried out activities in partnership with other entities. One such endeavour includes research in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture of the Region of Sicily, to enable winegrowers to have certified vine shoots for new plantings of the most famous native grape varieties, such as Nero d’Avola, Inzolia and Grillo, in the near future.

“Together with the department, we have also mapped more than 70 indigenous varieties,” says Antonio Rallo, president of Consorzio di Tutela Vini DOC Sicilia. “These varieties have evolved over 2,500 years of viticulture in Sicily, but only a dozen are commonly grown today.

“This is a task of maintaining biodiversity, with the aim of evaluating the characteristics of each variety to select clones that can potentially give good results, both qualitative and commercial, in the future.”

In the past two years, the consortium has planned significant promotional investments in the EU, particularly in Italy and Germany, and outside the EU, especially in the US, Canada and China.

“As far as future developments are concerned, the American and Asian markets are two target markets for which we have been directing resources and investments for years, and even more so in the future,” says Laurent Bernard de la Gatinais, member of the board of Consorzio di Tutela Vini DOC Sicilia.

Rallo added: “With regards to the United States, the main effort concerns the penetration of Sicilian wines in such a wide and diversified market, while for China we are working mainly on increasing consumer awareness.”

Sicily is known for having rich traditions revered by many, and this is reflected in its culture, landscapes, history, art, architecture, people, cuisine and its wines.

As Rallo attests: “The Sicily of wine is also a mosaic of scents that find synthesis and expression in every glass.

“Nero d’Avola is a great example of this, one of Sicily’s most famous red wines, a versatile, fascinating wine with a ruby red colour, scents of Mediterranean scrub and a good structure on the palate.”


The initiatives implemented by the consortium to counter the economic crisis due to the pandemic situation have proved effective.

“In general, we can say that the strategic choices we made have moved us in the right direction,” says Rallo, explaining that this has allowed the consortium “to have closed 2021 with more than 95 million bottles of DOC Sicilia, a result that confirms that the board of directors has been able to protect the interests of the denomination’s supply chain”.

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