Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and the largest of the 20 regions of Italy. Even though the island makes more white than red wine, its only DOCG wine region – for the moment – is a red. It’s called Cerasuolo di Vittoria. The word “Cerasuolo” derives from cherry, and Vittoria is the central town of the region.
A special red grape called Frappato originates here. Frappato does well in sandy soil and ripens late in the year and gives wines with a pale color and delicate fruit.
In the past, this grape wasn’t considered powerful enough and was traditionally blended with Nero d’Avola a grape that is grown a bit all over Sicily. Nero d’Avola prefers red soils and ripens earlier (so it is usually planted in places where Frappato cannot ripen well) and gives a stronger color and a deeper texture with its higher alcohol, good acidity and tannin. Flavors of dark plum and dark red cherry.
In the appellation Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG the two grapes must be combined.
The ideal is a 50-50 ratio so Nero d’Avola doesn’t overpower the character of the Frappato.
The Classico area corresponds to the original area of production in the centre of the appellation, which goes back to the DOC boundaries established in 1973.
In 2005 the area was bumped up to DOCG and the zone expanded with a sort of outer ring that cannot use the Classico designation so merely be labelled as Cerasuolo di Vittoria.