Sicily is located in the Mediterranean Sea, off the south coast of Italy. The island has incredible diversity in the grapes which are grown here, ranging from rare indigenous varieties, to well-known international varieties. The island is also very diverse in its geology and climates. Some vineyards are in warm areas located on the coast, and others are located thousands of meters up the hillsides of active volcano Mt. Etna. Then there is the soil, which ranges from iron-rich sand, to limestone, all the way to volcanic soils as you go up the sides of Etna. On the coast and southern parts of Sicily is where Nero d’Avola is the primary grape. It is famous in the wines of Vittoria, and Noto – producing wines of great complexity, and varying degrees of power, some of which can be balanced with the Frappato grape. On Mt. Etna there is the indigenous Nerello Mascalese, a red grape with Pinot-like character, and Carricante, a white grape which when grown on Mt. Etna becomes quite Chablis-like. On the northern and western side of the island grows Grillo. What used to be a grape grown for Marsala production is now making wines with great complexity, fresh acidity, and an elegance which allows it to be had at any times. On the western and northern side of the island are the so-called “international varieties.” However, these grapes have been growing here for a very long time, as they were grown to make much of the wine consumed on the mainland of Italy. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Chardonnay make world class wines. There is also a little Fiano, from the mainland, which makes a rich style of this normally lean grape.