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Sicilia DOC Consortium Announces Sommelier Contest to Raise Awareness of Sicilian Wines Among US Wine Professionals

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Finalists to Fly to Sicily to Compete for the Title of “Sicilian Wine Maestro” at Taormina Gourmet

New York, June 24, 2022 – Today, the Sicilia DOC Consortium opens registration for US wine professionals to its first Sommelier Competition. Applicants will need to pass a three-step selection process testing their knowledge of Sicilia DOC wines and indigenous Sicilian varietals as well as their presentation skills. Three finalists will be flown to Sicily in October to compete during Taormina Gourmet for the title, “Sicilian Wine Maestro.”  “We’re excited to engage the critically important Somm audience with our first Sommelier Competition,” says Antonio Rallo, president of the Sicilia DOC Consortium.  “Our wines are gaining recognition for their quality and the great value they offer in addition to finding new and expanded distribution.  This is a great moment for Sicilian wines in the US.”

Sicilian wines are growing in popularity in the US and increasingly appearing on wine lists of fine dining American restaurants.  New generations of winemakers in Sicily are embracing the usage of  local grape varieties, working with the island’s diverse terroir and making wine with an organic approach (Sicily has more hectares of organic vineyards than any region in Italy), resulting in growing interest from critics and consumers alike. Since its establishment in 2011, the Sicilia DOC Consortium has worked to strengthen the reputation of Sicilian wines, improving quality, sustainability and market position. The Sicilia DOC Sommelier Competition, culminating in the Finale at Taormina Gourmet (October 22-24, 2022), is the most recent marketing innovation for the Consortium.

Sommeliers and other wine professionals who compete for the ‘Sicilian WIne Maestro’ title will have to prove knowledge of Sicily’s rich history and culture, as well as an understanding of how the island’s viticulture and winemaking are being reshaped by new generations of winemakers.

A judging panel including Sicilia DOC Ambassador Jeffrey Porter, Vinitaly International Managing Director Stevie Kim and award-winning sommelier Tonya Pitts, will evaluate the Instagram submissions. Jeff Porter will lead a virtual webinar on Sicilian wines and administer the exam part of the Competition.  

The Finals will take place at Taormina Gourmet, one of the leading culinary events in Italy, hosted in the beautiful and historical city of Taormina. The Sicilia DOC Consortium will fly the three finalists to Sicily to compete in a blind tasting and a creative pairing challenge. A panel of Sicilian wine experts will evaluate each finalist’s performance and will crown the first ever “Sicilian Wine Maestro”.

For more information, visit the Wines of Sicilia DOC website or follow Wines of Sicilia DOC on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

About Sicilia DOC

Established in 2011, Sicilia DOC appellation represents a leading force of innovation in the region. Its efforts have been aimed at enhancing the region’s millennial winemaking heritage and local grapes such as Nero d’Avola and Grillo, amongst others, through a sustainable approach promoted by the SOStain foundation which provides producers with education and tools to embrace organic practices. For further information, please visit Wines of Sicily.

About Taormina Gourmet:

Taormina Gourmet is one of the most important events in Southern Italy dedicated to the promotion of premium food and beverage. Organized by the Bica Association and Cronache di Gusto, a F&B specialized online publication, it is a three-day event that takes place every year in the city of Taormina, major tourist hub in Southern Italy. High-end wineries and consortiums host masterclasses, tastings, forums and cooking shows that see the participation of many journalists, wine writers and Master of Wine. Its ninth edition will take place October 22, 23 and 24, 2022 at the Hotel Villa Diodoro, Taormina (ME). For further information visit Taormina Gourmet website.

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