Historic Taormina & The Wines of Mt. Etna
Perched near the northeastern tip of Sicily between mountain cliffs and the
Ionian Sea is the island’s most famous seaside resort, Taormina. Looking out to the edge of town, you can see the columns of an ancient Greek theater that is still used for
summer concerts. Turn and look inland, there looming in the distance is the snow-capped volcano Mount Etna exhaling a plume of white steam. Etna is a region of extremes: vineyards planted on 45‐degree‐slopes, rocky soil that ought to be impossible to farm, unpredictable weather and of course, that volcano. But despite the odds and according to such publications as Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and FOOD & WINE, Etna is one of Italy’s hottest wine regions and its wines are simply– please forgive the pun – erupting all over the wine scene.
From the pier, board your motor coach for a short drive along the coastline to Taormina. Considered to be one of Sicily’s most beautiful spots, your guide will lead you on a walking tour while illustrating the highlights of this medieval enclave featuring the exterior of the beautiful Cathedral, the Palazzo Corvaia and the Odeon. After a visit of the Greek Theatre, your guided tour will end with a stroll through Corso Umberto (the shopping area) where you will have some time on your own. At the predetermined time, meet the group back at the motor coach to continue your tour with the ascent up the slopes of the volcano Etna.
This afternoon you will visit the legendary Cantina Benanti. Described by many as the Founding Fathers of Mount Etna's wine industry, the Benanti Family planted vineyards in 1850 on the lower slopes of Etna, experimenting with local varieties in order to produce wine of great character and individuality. Today they are among the strongest proponents of their unique terroir, a DOC wine region that is the oldest in Sicily. You will tour their estate and vineyards, including a visit to their ancient palmento, before sitting down to a traditional Sicilian lunch paired with their wines.