“Sustainability is one of the strengths naturally inherent in Sicilian wine; after all, Sicily has the largest organic vineyard area in Italy,” explains Antonio Rallo, president of the producers’ association, Consorzio di Tutela Vini Doc Sicilia.
The facts bear this out: 30% of the vineyard area in Sicily is cultivated organically and another 20% has integrated pest management, making a total of 50% in all.
These are just the headline viticultural features that make Sicily so special. There are more: did you know that 65% of Sicilian vineyards are in hillside locations, making it Italy’s largest hillside wine region, and Sicily is second only to Trentino Alto-Adige in Italian mountain viticulture?
The Sicilian wine-growing sector is increasingly aware of its obligation to take responsibility for respecting nature and its cycles in order to make quality wines. Sustainability is therefore now more than ever the key to the future of Sicilian wine, and an integral part of that ever-growing brand, Sicily.
Sustainability and organic production are facilitated by the island’s Mediterranean climate.
Building a shared future
Motivated by this awareness, the leading wine promotional organisations, Consorzio di Tutela Vini Doc Sicilia and Assovini Sicilia, have created a tool to enhance viticulture, the SOStain Sicilia Foundation. Its aim is to help wineries measure and reduce the impact their agronomic and oenological practices have on their region, as well as to share eco-friendly best practices and promote transparent consumer communication.
Sicily thus becomes the first Italian region to develop an integrated sustainability protocol that comes from below, born out of the needs of producers for the use of producers. The ultimate goal is to pursue environmentally friendly, socially equitable, and economically efficient development.
“The future can no longer be separated from the sustainable management of the land, and for this we need clear rules and structured research to find the best solutions,” says Alberto Tasca, president of SOStain Sicilia. “This is the only way we can pass on a territory that is intact, alive, and capable of regeneration to our heirs.”
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