Marsala Wine, A Famous Italian Achievement
Marsala wine is produced in the province of Trapani in western Sicily. This exceptional Italian dessert wine is obtained through the utilization of both white and red grape varietals, and its birth on the world stage can be traced to a happy encounter with the English merchant, John Woodhouse, at the end of the 18th century, who was the most prominent producer until the appearance of the historic Florio brand.
It is said that the Englishman landed in the Sicilian town of Marsala instead of Mazara del Vallo due to a storm, and discovered the taste of Perpetuum, the forebearer of Italian Marsala wine, in a local osteria, buying some to take back to England. Supposedly, he was a pioneer in adding 2 liters of alcohol to keep it for the voyage, and it met with enormous success.
Italian Marsala is a prestigious dessert wine, and the first to receive the DOC protected origin mark in 1969. To produce it, winemaking begins with wines that have an alcohol content of 12%. During fermentation, it is decanted repeatedly to achieve oxidation (Soleras method), then the alcohol component and cooked must are added (virgin Marsala does not include this step) in line with each winemaker’s recipe. Marsala wine is also a key ingredient in a number of savory recipes.