A beautiful sunny Fall day is a great way to begin our Sicily tour. We started with a guided walking tour of old town Palermo. This is my 5th visit to Palermo but the first time we’ve stayed 4 days which gave me the opportunity to really appreciate this city.

street scene Palermo 

With a maze of streets and alleys many dating  from the middle ages, it is great walking city with layers and layers of culture interwoven: Greek, Roman, Arabic, Norman, French, Spanish. It is definitely a city worthy of several days to visit. I encourage you to add it to your to-do lists.

Our first winery visit was 30 minutes from our wonderful centrally located hotel, itself an historical gem. The Duca di Salaparuta winery is one of the oldest in Sicily and first brought the Nero d’Avola to the attention of wine lovers.

It’s a large winery, the largest in Sicily, producing over 10 million bottles annually. It has a beautiful urban location, overlooking the ocean.

The world knows this winery thanks to Corvo, the first brand from Sicily to be sold around the globe. But the winery’s claim to great wine is due to its Duca di Salaparuta label, and its Florio winery in Marsala.

Our seafood menu was well  paired with Duca wines. Our appetizer was seafood salad, smoked fish and crumbled gefilte fish accompanied by Star, a blend of the local Grillo with Muller Thurgau. The 1st course was freshly made pasta with swordfish and mint, accompanied by Kados, 100% Grillo, with 40 days oak aging.

Then came our 2nd course of baked crumbed Capone, a local fish in season, served with eggplant caponata and baked potatoes, served with Lávico, 100% Nerello Mascalese from Etna. We ended with a dessert of fresh cannoli and almond pastries, served with Florio Targa Riserva 1840, a semisec Marsala from the 2006 vintage, 100% Grillo.

A very good beginning to our Sicilian adventure with more of the same tomorrow when we again combine wine with local cuisine and culture, which is the Wine Lovers’ mantra.

Enjoy the following photos from today’s guided walk and winery visit.

Author Vin Marottoli

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