Wine has been made on this stunning landscape in Southern Sicily since the 16th Century. Its picturesque serenity belies its tumultuous past. Sicily's strategic position makes it hard to avoid when entering the Mediterranean from the East to trade with most of the European countries. As a result, in order to control passage to commerce, every empire that "ruled" the world had to control Sicily.
Because it was ruled by the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Moors, and others, Sicily was seen as an afterthought. A place with no identity because it had so many. Yet to the Sicilians, they were the most diverse culture on Earth. It was that spirit and commitment that has now made Sicily the most sought-after destination in Italy.
And, it started with the wine. Up until 30 years ago, Sicily's wines were bought in bulk to help fortify wines of the North. But it was enterprising producers like Antonio Froio of Butera, who decided to make a statement about their wine and that it could stand on its own. That statement involved one grape, Nero d'Avola.
Nero d'Avola took the world by storm. It was bold and rich and dark with intensely flavorful. Butera named theirs Amira, which is Arab for "prince." Our selection is a fitting tribute. Dense black cherry, chocolate, and earth tones abound here and would like nothing else but to match with a hearty Puttanesca or sausage lasagna.