Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Putting Sicily on the Map

Sicilia  in the Ebstorf Mappamundi (V&A)
In the thirteenth century world map known as the Ebstorf Mappamundi the island of Sicily was depicted as a plump apple, pomegranate or peach-shaped fruit.  While the original of this map was destroyed in World War II, there is a glorious color reproduction of it in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  From the Classical Age through the Middle Ages, Sicily was at the center of European politics and culture.  Celebrated for its fertility and coveted for its strategic position in the Middle Sea between Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, Sicily was the very heart of the Mediterranean.  This may come as a surprise in our modern era.  Since the earliest waves of immigrants who left their island home to find a better life in the New World in the early twentieth century, Sicily languished as a long-forgotten corner of Europe in the public’s imagination.  In the tradition of its honored poets, playwrights, and storytellers, Sicily’s winegrowers are now putting Sicily on the world’s cultural map.  The vibrant and diverse flavors of Sicilian wine are bringing Sicily to life for a new generation of wine lover – genuinely seeking to understand this place called Sicilia.

Last week in London, we were honored and thrilled for our book, The World of Sicilian Wine, to win the 2013 Andr√© Simon Drink Book Award: http://www.andresimon.co.uk/awards.html.  We hope that in our own small way we have helped to put Sicily on the map.  In the words of an esteemed Sicilian winegrower upon learning this news of the Andr
√© Simon Drink Book Award, Viva La Sicilia! 

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