An article I read about the Aeolian Islands sparked my interest and eventually led Wine Lovers to organize our first ever tour to this archipelago of 7 islands off the coast of Sicily.
This adventure was fraught with potential problems but I’m proud and very happy that the logistics were achieved without any hitches.
We left our hotel in Catania by private bus which whisked us to Milazzo where we boarded the ferry for Lipari, our home for the next 4 days.
There are 7 idyllic islands in the Aeolian archipelago and during our stay we would visit 4. I’ll tell you my favorite at the end.
Upon arrival in Lipari, a private mini van took us to our hotel where we had a welcome drink and freshened up before leaving for our first winery visit.
Yes, wine is made on many of the islands and the most famous is the Malvasia di Lipari, although we had some wonderful locally made reds.
Our visit was to the Castellaro Winery, founded by a family from the the Netherlands that fell in love with the island. They bought raw land and proceeded to made vines and build a state of the art winery and visitors’ welcome center in 2005.
They planted Corinto, a red grape, and Malvasia di Lipari, both indigenous grapes, using the traditional albarello trellis system that grape growers used for centuries.
After an introduction and tour of their very modern winery, we settled on the terrace for an alfresco tasting of 3 wines:
Bianco Porticello 2018, a blend of Carricante, Malvasia di Lipari and Moscato, a delightful yellow gold color and faint citrus aroma with good acidity. This is their biggest production at 65K bottles.
Rosa Caolino 2018, a blend of Corinto and Nero d’Avola, a pleasant quaffing wine.
Ypsilon 2016, a blend of Alicante, Corinto Nero and Nero d’Avola.
This winery is just getting into stride and I expect that they will reach their potential in a few short years.
We then returned to our hotel for our opening welcome dinner with a panoramic view of the harbor.