Italy – Autonomous Region of Sicily

Tenute de Stefano Syrah, 2010

Sicily is an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana (Sicilian Autonomous Region), and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

After the Napoleonic Wars of the 1800s, Sicily and Naples formally merged as the Two Sicilies under the Bourbons. Major revolutionary movements occurred in 1820 and 1848 against the Bourbon government, with Sicily seeking independence; the second of which, the 1848 revolution, was successful, and resulted in a period of independence for Sicily.

In 1860, the Expedition of the Thousand led by Giuseppe Garibaldi captured Sicily. The conquest started at Marsala, and native Sicilians, lured by Garibaldi’s promises of an Italian republic and equality for Sicilians, joined him in the capture of the southern Italian peninsula. Garibaldi’s march was finally completed with the Siege of Gaeta, where the final Bourbons were expelled and Garibaldi announced his dictatorship in the name of Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia. Sicily then became part of the Kingdom of Italy. With the imposition of a monarchy, Sicilians got neither the promised republic, nor equality, since important police, judicial and political positions were filled by northern Italians. An anti-Savoy revolt pushing for Sicilian independence erupted in 1866 at Palermo but failed.

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa wrote in his book Il Gattopardo that the Sicilians viewed the unification of Italy as a conquest of the south by the north.

Italy became a Republic in 1946 and as part of the Constitution of Italy, Sicily was one of the five regions given special status as an autonomous region.

Sicily produces more wine than New Zealand, Austria and Hungary combined (2010), but was previously known mainly for fortified Marsala wines. In recent decades, the wine industry has improved, new winemakers are experimenting with less-known native varietals, and Sicilian wines have become better known. The best known local varietal is Nero d’Avola, named for a small town near Syracuse; the best wines made with these grapes are said to come from Noto, a famous old city close to Avola.

The Tenute de Stefano Syrah, 2010 is a 13% alcohol wine produced by Orestiadi srl, Gibellina, Sicily. Gibellina is a small city and commune in the mountains of central Sicily.