Wednesday, January 9, 2013
The World of Sicilian Wine is due out from University of California Press in late February/early March. While we wait, you may be surprised to learn that prior to the early 20th century, Sicily was a must-see destination on the Grand Tour of both European and American travelers; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Alexis de Tocqueville, Alexander Dumas, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Edith Wharton to name just a few. These writers/explorers were drawn to Sicily for its place in classical history and mythology. They also left enthralled by the island's natural beauty and fertility. From the late 18th century until the early 20th, at least three or four dozen books about these Sicilian adventures were published in Europe and the U.S. Northern Europeans and Americans are just now rediscovering this exotic jewel in the Mediterranean. As Goethe wrote in his travel journal, Sicily evokes Europe, Asia, and Africa. As Edith Wharton described in her memoir about sailing around the Mediterranean, the Sicilian landscape is "full of fruit trees bursting into bloom, olive-orchards carpeted with sheets of lilac anemones,... and orange-gardens hedged with prickly pear". We are excited about sharing this rich terroir with you.