Italian Indigenous Varieties: Damaschino Bianco From Sicily

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This week’s grape variety is Damaschino Bianco which hails from Sicily, specifically the area near Trapani and around Marsala. This grape may have come to Sicily during the Arab period but there are no precise documents which can confirm this hypothesis.

It is said to be a grape that makes white wines that are straw-yellow in color and not very alcoholic. Wines made using this grape tend to be those that are ready to drink quickly rather than to age. It is generally blended with other grapes such as Grecanico. It is a grape that used to be more popular than it is now and has tended to be replaced by Catarratto, a hardier grape that is less affected by Oidium and rot.

I visited Trapani many years ago during a holiday to the Egadi Islands, a fascinating group of islands off the West Coast of Sicily. We stayed on Favignana and traveled to Levanzo and Marettimo. My visit to those islands and my travels around them in a dinghy can be the subject of another post. Suffice it to say that they are beautiful and the whole area is a wonderful place for a magical holiday.

In other news, here’s a recent article that I wrote for the Organic Wine Journal about a group of producers in the Trentino.

Snooth has also been doing a series that I am pleased to be part of. This week’s piece is on Grenache.

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