Etna Wine Road and Tasting Tour from Taormina – Sicily
During this guided tour you will discover the beautiful landscapes of Etna, the hightest volcano in Europe, the Alcantara river park and Etna wines.
Starting from Taormina / Giardini Naxos you’ll drive a classic Fiat 500 through the Alcantara valley, among the citrus orchards and century-old olive groves until you reach the famous Alcantara river and its gorges, considered the most beautiful gorges in Sicily.
After a nice walk along the river to admire the spectacular basalt columns formation and a short visit of the 9th century Byzantine Church called “Cuba”, our tour will continue to Castiglione di Sicilia, a medieval town surrounded by chestnut and hazel groves.
Then, you’ll drive the Fiat 500 along the “Strada del Vino” (Etna Wine Road) until reach one of the Etna’s best wineries. Here you’ll visit the vineyards and the cellar, and have a charming wine tasting / light lunch. You’ll taste a variety of local Etna wines paired with some typical Sicilian delicacies.
Alcantara River and Gorges
The name Alcantara is of Arabic origin (al Qanţara – the Bridge) and refers to a bridge from Roman times found by the Arabs. Several thousand years ago, the river bed was blocked by a lava flow from Mount Etna. Over the centuries the river dig a channel through the basalt columns, resulting in impressive gorges that are considered one of the most beautiful gorges of Sicily.
Castiglione di Sicilia – Medieval Town
Castiglione di Sicilia is a little nice typical sicilian village between Mount Etna and the Alcantara River, surrounded by chestnut oak and nuts woods. It was founded by the greeks on the peak of a mount and used to be a Norman castle to avoid the pirates during the Middle Ages.
Cuba – Byzantine Church
Near Castiglione di Sicilia, the Church of Santa Domenica (a Byzantine church that dates back to the VII century) is also called “Cuba” ( for its cupola roof). It is one of the 100’s most important monuments of Italy and national monument since 1909.
A stop to visit a typical Etna wine cellar and vineyards, and to have also the opportunity to taste Etna wines, which will be accompanied by some local speciality like dried tomatoes, mushrooms and olives, salame, dry and fresh pepato cheese, provola cheese and ricotta cheese.
Our self-drive tour on themed itinerary will show you unveiled Sicily and its secrets.
You will drive one of our classic and convertible Fiat 500 following our tour leader car that will be driven by our staff.
A fun and professional fully licensed English-speaking tour guide will lead you through this fascinating trip.
Don’t forget to bring your driver’s license with you. To drive in Italy you need an EU driving licence, or an International Driving Permit, which is a translation of your non EU licence.
All drivers must be able to drive using a manual clutch / trasmission (stick shift gears). Occasional driving experience with manual cars is not enough to handle our vintage cars.
Infant under 3 years of age are not admitted to the car tour. Children 3-12 years old in the same car of parents are free.
Our “Etna Wine Road” tour usually start in the morning (9.30am) from October to June and in the afternoon (3.30pm) from July to September.
Usually this themed tour on “Etna wine road” lasts about 4 hour and half.
If you are a group and you have more time to spend we can arrange a customized full day tour according to your needs.
All the cellars we will visit during our wine tours are chosen with a great care, have a great reputation and make award winning wines.
Usually we prefer to go small and family run wineries to have the opportunity to discuss the wines and the wine making with the owner or the wine maker.
Sicily is very famous all around the world for its wine production. Many Sicilian wine have been awarded in the last ten years as the best wines of the world at Vinitaly (Verona), the largest wine exhibition in the world.
Mount Etna is also well known for its wine production. The vulcano’s fertile soil and the peculiar microclimate provide an ideal ambientation for high quality wines. The wines of Etna (Red, Rosé, White and Superior White varieties) were the first in Sicily to qualify for the DOC designation in 1968.
The most important wine grapes of Mount Etna are: Nerello Mascalese(black grape, historically prevalent on Etna, base of Etna Rosso DOC), Cataratto (white, most common secondary grape allowed in Etna Bianco DOC), Carricante (white grape base for the Etna Bianco DOC) and Nerello Cappuccio or Mantellato (black grape, used to make the Etna rosso Doc in a percentage no greater than 20%).