Embark on our 2020 Sicily Study Tour with on site professional-level instruction!
Sicily Wine Study Tour Highlights:
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to travel through all the key appellations of this incredible and diverse wine region of Italy with a notable expert and fabulous instructor!
Sicilia’s position in the center of the Mediterranean Sea has made the island a nexus of cultural mixing and integration for millennia. This rich cultural heritage is matched by an amazingly diverse and complex range of wines and gastronomy that reflects all of the contributions made by the different civilizations who have settled here over the millennia.
Blessed with a varied range of terroirs, Sicily boasts some of the most distinctive grapes and wines of Italy. Old alberello vines of Nerello Mascalese and Carricante grow at high altitude on the slopes of the impressive volcano Etna. In the northeast corner of Sicily, Faro and Mamertino, are considered among the region most noteworthy terroirs. The southeast part of the island, famous for its unique Sicilian Baroque architecture, is the traditional home to Sicily’s flagship variety Nero d’Avola and Frappato.
- Discover the Sicily wine region with your instructor, Kerin O’Keefe, Italian Wine Editor for Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
- Delve into the fascinating volcanic terroirs of Etna and explore the other Sicily’s iconic wine appellations including Faro, Mamertino, Vittoria, Eloro and Noto.
- Sicilia boasts remarkable works of art, architecture, and literature and lays claim to one of Italy’s largest concentration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- Drink history as you learn about the evolution of the region’s wines and taste winemaking philosophy in the glass.
- Experience insider tastings with winemakers at some of Sicily’s most renowned wineries. Compare vintages and vineyards as you learn local details directly from the people who grow the grapes and make the wine.
- Lunch and dine in the region’s best restaurants and discover the region’s epicurean delights paired with fantastic wines from all over Sicily.
Travel with a group of wine students who are serious about wine, either as wine professionals or committed wine lovers. Share an educational, epicurean and unforgettable experience while discovering Sicily wines. Trips are open to people from all countries, and are held in English.
Your Instructor & Guide: Kerin O'Keefe
- Award-winning journalist and author
- Italian Wine Editor at Wine Enthusiast Magazine
- Author of three books including "Barolo and Barbaresco the King and Queen of Italian Wine
Kerin was a very wonderful instructor. She shared a lot of fascinating information and insights to each region and producers we visited."
Kerin was a wonderful guide - a wealth of knowledge, a delight to be around, a consummate professional."
I don't think that Kerin could have been better. You could just feel her love and passion for the wines. A very nice personality with a great sense of humor."
Your Tour Manager: Claudia Cesarino
Assisting the instructor and making sure logistics run smoothly and that your needs are answered will be Claudia Cesarino.
Claudia’s career started in the international hospitality industry and event organising at the St. Regis Grand Hotel in Rome and then at Vinopolis in London. She then worked in India for the famous Italian wine company Marchesi Antinori, training the staff about wine at prestigious hotels like the Hyatt, Sheraton, Kempinski, Taj, Oberoi and Park. Now a very experienced wine tour guide, Claudia is a member of the Italian Sommelier Association.
Sunday, October 11
- Participants arrive independently in Catania. Meet your tour manager at 4:30pm at the Information desk of Catania airport and drive 1-hour north to the beautiful seaside city of Taormina.
- Check into the lovely 4-star Hotel Albergo Villa Belvedere, conveniently located in the city’s historic center, near restaurants and shops.
- Take the evening to explore this beautiful small city and dine on your own with our restaurant suggestions.
Monday, October 12 | Etna | B, L, D
- Meet your instructor, Wine Enthusiast’s Italian Editor Kerin O’Keefe, and begin your explorations on Mount Etna, the highest active volcano Europe. This area is one of the most exciting viticultural areas in the world, producing elegant, mineral-driven wines from red native grapes Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio and vibrant whites from Carricante. You’ll visit some of the area’s most important producers including those who played a major role in Etna’s on-going renaissance.
- In Castiglione di Sicilia, the spiritual home of Nerello Mascalese, visit Passopisciaro, where Andrea Franchetti was one of the first trailblazers to invest in Mount Etna
- Still in Castiglione di Sicilia, visit rising star Tornatore, where the dynamic owner Francesco Tornatore is turning out fragrant, refined Nerello Mascalese with structure and elegance.
- Enjoy a light lunch of local specialties at the Tornatore winery.
- Visit Tascante, owned by the Tasca d’Almerita family. You’ll taste the firm’s single-vineyard wines while immersed in the middle of the ancient, terraced vineyards.
- Your welcome dinner is at the wonderful wine-oriented Vineria Modi Ristorante.
Tuesday, October 13 | Faro and Capo Milazzo | B, L
- Vineyards in Faro of Santo Stefano in Messina are planted with ancient indigenous grapes including Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Nocera. In Capo Milazzo, the nearly extinct Mamertino DOC, made with Nero d’Avola and Nocera, is being revived and wineries in both denominations offer unsurpassed views of vineyards suspended over the sparkling sea below.
- Overlooking the Strait of Messina, visit boutique winery Palari, where owner Salvatore Geraci is making some of the most elegant wines in all of Sicily. Considered the savior of the tiny Faro DOC, Palari is making some of Italy’s most coveted wines.
- Enjoy a light lunch at the Palari winery with both new and older vintages.
- Farther north, visit La Baronia winery, where the Planeta family has recently revived the ancient Mamertino, made with Nero d’Avola and Nocera.
- Enjoy an evening on your own in Taormina with our suggestions for fine restaurants.
Wednesday, October 14 | Etna | B, L
- Checkout of your hotel and return to the vineyards of Mount Etna.
- In Santa Venerina, learn more about Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio with a presentation and tasting at the historic Murgo winery.
- Enjoy a hearty lunch of Sicilian specialities at Murgo’s on-site restaurant
- Round out the day with a visit at another historic cellar, like Barone di Villagrande, a pioneer in Etna’s modern-day Renaissance.
- Travel to the beautiful baroque town of Ragusa, where you’ll have the evening to explore and dine with our restaurant suggestions.
Thursday, October 15 | Vittoria | B, L, D
- Home to Cerasuolo di Vittoria, the only Italian DOCG wine from Sicily. Made with native grapes Nero d'Avola and Frappato, this vibrant, silky red helped kick off the island’s quality revolution. You’ll visit storied producers and rising stars in the village that lent its name to the wine and other nearby villages.
- Begin the day at COS, where Giambattista Cilia, Cirino Strano and Giusto Occhipinti began vinifying grapes the summer before University, and forever changed the area’s winemaking scene. You’ll try the full range of this pioneering estate’s fantastic wines, including those made in amphora
- Visit another top producer like Arianna Occhipinti. The niece of Giusto Occhipinti, Arianna is making stunning, earthy wines that now have a cult following around the world.
- Enjoy lunch of local specialties at Ristorante Acqua e Vino in Vittoria.
- Visit another celebrated estate, like Paolo Calì.
- Your gastronomic farewell dinner is at the excellent Monsù Ristorante in Ragusa.
Friday, October 16 | Eloro and Noto | B, L
- Today, visit more top Sicilian estates in and around Noto. Noto and Pacchino are the spiritual home of Nero d’Avola, producing wines with structure and finesse.
- At Buonivini, you’ll be welcomed by the Planeta family, where the firm makes its celebrated Nero d’Avola range, including its delicious Santa Cecilia, one of the most celebrated wines made with this native grape.
- Enjoy lunch at a fine local restaurant.
- Move on to the Eloro Denonimation and visit Curto, a small, family run winery making polished reds from Nero d’Avola.
- Late afternoon group transfer to Catania Airport and train station.
Legend for meals included in your tour: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
* Itinerary subject to change: every effort will be made to keep the itinerary as close as possible to what appears here; however, the final itinerary and estates/winemakers included may vary due to wine producer schedules, availability and factors beyond our control. The wine estates visited during this trip will all be of the highest quality.
- Instruction throughout by author and Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Italian Editor, Kerin O’Keefe
- The services of a Tour Manager throughout, to provide great customer service and logistics support
- Deluxe, air-conditioned motor coach transportation throughout, with bottled water on-board
- 3 nights at 4-star Albergo Villa Belvedere in Taormina, double occupancy
- 2 nights at 4-star Hotel San Giorgio in Ragusa, double occupancy
- 2 gastronomic dinners expertly matched with top-quality wines
- 5 gourmet lunches expertly matched with top-quality wines
- 5 delicious buffet breakfasts
- All professional-level tours and extensive tastings at renowned wine producers
- All hotel and other taxes, and gratuities for included restaurants
Price per person, double occupancy: US$ 4,795.00
Single Supplement: US$ 595.00
Deposit upon reservation: US$ 1000.00 per person, per trip
Get US$ 150 off each additional trip you take!**
NOTE: There are a limited number of twin rooms available. Please let us know if you’d like to share a twin room with another participant to avoid the single supplement and pay the double occupancy price instead.
**After you have reserved your first Study Trip in 2020, you will receive a Discount of US$150 for each additional Study Trip you take in the same calendar year. This Discount will be deducted from the final balance payment for each additional Study Trip. You must pay in full for the first Study Trip you reserve to be eligible to receive the Discount for additional Study Trips.
Space is limited to 16 participants, so reserve your space today!
For more information:
Enjoy memorable meals at Gastronomic restaurants and estates
All upcoming tours:
PiedmontMay 17 - May 22, 2020
BourgogneMay 24 - May 29, 2020
AlsaceJun 07 - Jun 12, 2020
LoireJun 21 - Jun 26, 2020
ChampagneJun 23 - Jun 27, 2020
BordeauxOct 04 - Oct 09, 2020
SicilyOct 11 - Oct 16, 2020
RhôneOct 18 - Oct 23, 2020
Languedoc-RoussillonOct 25 - Oct 30, 2020