Grapes have been grown and wine has been made in the Mediterranean for millennia. It was the powerful Greek and Roman civilizations that were responsible for spreading viticulture throughout the region.
Although relatively close in proximity, these Mediterranean islands have immensely different cultures, viticultural traditions, grapes and terroirs. Even grape vines vary from the tightly woven nest-shaped vines of Santorini, to the old gnarly Cannonau bush vines in Sardegna.
The preservation and revival of indigenous grape varietals on these islands has played an immense part in the uniqueness of these wines. However, during times of economic downturn, little known indigenous vines were pulled out and replaced with well-known grapes such as Cabernet & Chardonnay. With the intention of putting these regions on the world map, many regions such as Sicilia have used their new found reputation to revert back to their original traditions and focus on quality.
Terroirs ranging from the pure white limestone of Brač, Croatia, to the red iron-rich soils of Vittoria, Sicilia yield a wide variety of wines. Although singular in their own ways, all the wines possess a distinct mineral characteristic and a mild salinity that evokes thoughts of the Mediterranean sea breeze.
Assyrtiko is often used as the base wine for Retsina, the pungent Greek wine concocted from white wine and Aleppo pine resin.
The Brac ‘Stina’ limestone was used in the construction of the Vimy Ridge War Memorial as well as some parts of the White House, among other famous historical landmarks.
Corsica’s regional appellation is called “Île de Beauté IGP,” French for ‘Island of Beauty’