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Zibibbo wines: history and characteristics of Unesco heritage vine

Zibibbo is both a white grape variety, also known with the name of Moscato d’Alessandria, and the typically sweet wine that is made from it. The word “zibibbo” comes from the Arabic “zabib”, which means “raisins”. An interesting detail: the cultivation of this vine was declared Unesco World Heritage in 2014.

According to history and evidence, Zibibbo is a vine originating from Egypt – for this reason is also known with the name “Moscato d’Alessandria” – introduced in Sicily, in particular on the island of Pantelleria, by the Arabs. Until today, almost all of italian national production is still concentrated there. Also the particular terracing of the fertile lands is of Arab origin, on the contrary, the “spurred cordon” is an autochthonous cultivation, a particular system that exploits short pruning and allows for a higher harvest during the vintage.

The amount of cultivated land is very small, this is why a rich, sweet and fortified wine such as Passito di Pantelleria iis increasingly rare. It depends on the soil, that should be harsh and with little rainfall. In summary, it is difficult to find.

The characteristics of the vine

Zibibbo or Moscato di Pantelleria is a medium-leaved vine, usually three-lobed, with a very voluminous and oblong-shaped bunch. Generally, the grape is oval and has a very thick skin, with a color ranging from green to yellow. Compared to other varieties, Zibibbo vine tends to have a rather late ripening.

Not just wine. In fact, zibibbo grape, in addition to the well-known vinification, can also be used for drying. What comes out is the Pantelleria raisins, which left in the sun for two or three weeks take on an amber color and a very sugary flavor.

Color and flavor

From the vine we obtain a straw yellow colored wine with very marked golden reflections; the wine is sweet and is characterized by a very high alcohol content and a characteristic scent of passito wine. The vine can also be used for the production of Moscato and sparkling wine, but its destination of origin is that of passito one.

  • the color of Zibibbo wine is inimitable, straw yellow with characteristic golden reflections that make it unique not only in taste, but also in sight
  • the scent is recognizable: apricot and almonds are well distinguished, even orange blossoms. In general, very fruity notes are perceived
  • the taste is sweet: on the palate the wine is soft and persistent, with a typically aromatic aftertaste.

Zibibbo has the remarkable quality of being a wine that goes well with many dishes of Italian culinary tradition (and not only). It is excellent when accompanied with all types of fish and shellfish, but also goes well with fresh and aged cheeses. Being a sweet wine, it goes best with traditional Sicilian sweets, and therefore with cassata, cannoli and almond pastries. It is also very popular in combination with pistachio ice cream.

Zibibbo wines prices

We offer fine Zibibbo wines. We like to cater to our clientele and provide the highest standard of quality in wines. It is for this reason that in our wine shop you can find labels of absolute depth, such as the Passito Bukkuram Padre della Vigna from the De Bartoli winery, at the price of 61.50 euros per bottle, or the Passito Ben Ryé from the Donnafugata winery, at the price of 48.50 euros. We also have fine Zibibbo wines but at lower prices, such as the Passito Diamante produced by the Tasca d’Almerita winery (20 euros) and the Integer wine from the De Bartoli winery (29 euros).