Zibibbo, also known as Moscato d’Alessandria is a white grape variety whose origins are not certain, as often happens in the world of wine. In all probability it all began in Egypt, and its diffusion in “Europe” probably depended on the well-known commercial skills of the Phoenicians.
It is thanks to them and afterwards to the Romans that this excellent wine was made known throughout the Mediterranean area, until it naturally reached Sicily thanks to the Arabs, during the domination of the first thirty years of the year 800. The Arabs realized immediately that the climatic conditions of Sicily and Pantelleria in particular were perfect for drying table grapes which they did without in the least thinking of a possible vinification that did nevertheless occur – probably randomly – with excellent results for the tastes of the time.
In a land like that of Pantelleria, with unique volcanic soils, terracing and vines trained in typical goblet (Bush) style of a bygone era and a very particular climate, it is understandable that after all these centuries, the people of Pantelleria consider this unique and inimitable vine autochthonous. Capable of generating magnificent wines, especially dessert wines.
A vine with a rare territorial connection, an ambassador of wonderful wines of international significance: that range from sparkling Moscato to golden passito wines, from passito liquoroso to sweet and white Pantelleria zibibbo, all unique and recognizable.
As evidence of the versatility of this grape variety, preferring the transformation into excellent sweet wines, even the name which seems to derive from the Arabic zabīb, but also from the African zibibb, which in both cases means “dried grapes”; the late harvest, the dried grape bunches and the significant residual sugar underlines this inclination.
Zibibbo and Moscato di Alessandria
Overall it is a Moscato di Alessandria therefore an aromatic vine, very fragrant and with an international reputation to defend, whose organoleptic characteristics of fresh apricot, almond, broom flowers, acacia, linden, as well as honey and musk, are well expressed in Sicily, thanks to the magnificent “terroir”, like nowhere else in the world.
Passito di Pantelleria
Another thing is the Passito di Pantelleria, obtained from dried grapes that give life to wines with extremely bright and brilliant colors, consistency and good body structure, generous acidity and flavor, intense and complex in aromas.
Zibibbo with its vigorous and bright straw yellow, sometimes golden, has obtained very interesting results even when produced in a “dry” style, due to the intriguing aromas and flavors. Even if it is different from the Moscato and Passito brothers, of which perhaps it fears the notoriety but not the comparison. It is the classic wine to try at least once in a lifetime.
Depending on the type, the dry zibibbo, served at a temperature between 8-10 degrees, is an excellent accompaniment to fish, vegetarian dishes and white meats. While moscato and passito, served at a slightly higher temperature, are excellent with Italian pastry, as well as with aged and blue cheeses.