The southernmost region of Italy has a climate more similar to that of North Africa than southern Italy. Italy is truly like a micro-continent.
The island of Sicily is one of Italy’s most important wine regions, rivalled only by Veneto in terms of the quantity of wine produced there. Throughout history and even as far back as the era of Greek colonization, the island has played a leading role in Italian viticulture. But it wasn’t until the 1980s, when new growing techniques and temperature-controlled vinfication were introduced there, that Sicily began to establish itself as a top producer of high-quality wines. And with the Sicilian wine renaissance also came a heightened interest in native grape varieties. By the early 2000s, wine regions like Vittoria (Ragusa province) had begun producing critically acclaimed wines from grapes like Nero d’Avola and Frappato. And in more recent years, Mt. Etna has become a super star producer of collectible reds made from Nerello Mascalese, wines often compared to Pinot Noir from Burugndy in terms of style and quality.