Brace your tastebuds for the time of their life. Vineyards in Sicily come with the chance to slurp on unique wines – and nibble on gourmet-grade tasting platters prepared by chefs passionately showing off the region’s best produce. And that’s before you’ve even considered booking a table at the best restaurants in Sicily. Restaurant and vineyard numbers run high – so you could find yourself on the wrong end of some serious FOMO. There is a solution though: food and wine tours of Sicily. They’ll get you to the best spots – and save time. Or you could take some inspo from our picks below…
Wine tasting goes one step further at vineyards in Sicily. Yes, you can pair the pick of the vintages with a plate of antipasti – but at De Gregorio you can harvest or prune the vines too. The opportunity to get among the grapes will no doubt excite viticulture enthusiasts – and perhaps those looking to grow a vine or two back home. But the real treat comes from tasting the estate’s Nero d’Avola straight from the barrel. For a day spent a little more leisurely, a historic mooch around the ancient cellar transports you back as far as 700 A.D. Today, it’s the setting for the wine tasting, where traditional Sicilian dishes pair deliciously well with the estate’s award–winning wines.
The viticulture résumé at Antichi Vinai is impressive before you add in the location of the vineyard. Four generations have been cropping indigenous grapes from the slopes of Etna for over 100 years. Plenty of time then for the Gangemi family to learn a thing or two about wine making. And, they could have stopped there. But they’ve added a gorgeous tasting room with a panoramic view of the Alcantara Valley. This isn’t perhaps as immersive as the De Gregorio vineyard, but the exclusivity (tastings are by reservation only) adds a touch of luxe to your time at the base of the mighty volcano.
Orbzii tip: Pair your time in the Alcantara Valley with a walk along the gorge – or take the action up a notch by mountain biking, rafting or canyoning along the river.
Book a seat at Tischi Toschi before you even start to think about your Sicilian itinerary. The tables at this tiny trattoria don’t last long. Gourmets, foodies and locals who love good food, flock here for the magic created by Luca Casablanca. The chef and restaurant owner picks out flavours from every nook and cranny of Sicily to cook traditional dishes that wow. This is the kind of place where the chef himself can tell you the exact lake the clams were harvested from to make the clam and linguine special. And, more than that, he knows the exact point in the season to buy them to turn the dish from an everyday staple to a delicacy tasted by few. Worth arranging your entire holiday around the restaurant’s availability? Most definitely.
Orbzii tip: Tischi Toschi’s ambience divides opinion. Some love the live music and, occasionally, slower service. Expect a slightly different experience than in most restaurants.
One of the best restaurants in Sicily brings a Michelin star, a green Michelin star and a riot of Sicilian flavours to the table. It’s all thanks to Signum’s dynamic chef, Martina Caruso. As the youngest chef in Italy to pick up a star – and more than a few foodie trophies along the way, she’s passionate about the island, its produce and enhancing every flavour that crosses your palate to perfection. There’s a nine course tasting menu – if you want to fully immerse yourself in Caruso’s love letter to Sicilian produce. Or, for a more measured approach, the a la carte menu lets you pair the much-loved snapper with the lemon meringue tart.
Orbzii tip: The wine list features wine from the best vineyards in Sicily. Don’t miss the opportunity to pair them perfectly with your chosen meal.
Food and wine tours
Harvesting grapes from the slopes of Etna is far more than just a gimmick. The ever-so-fertile soils that surround the volatile volcano provide some of the best conditions in the world for grape growing. To taste some of the finest wines from the region – and the mouth-watering locally produced food – join Prestelli for their Etna Wineries tour. You’ll spend the day visiting three estates – and their cellars. Tasting the wines along the way, you’ll also be able to experience a traditional antipasti lunch. Expect it to be a romp through Sicilian flavours. Sun-dried tomatoes, olives, prosciutto, home-made bread, cheeses and more, all delivering the flavours you dream of when you think ‘Sicilian lunch’. The best part? This is a private tour, allowing you to grill your guide for local history info and tips for more things to do in Sicily.
10 tastings of Palermo
If you’re short on time, Palermo is one of the best places in Sicily for foodies. Especially if you hop on the 10 tastings of Palermo from With Locals. Your guide will whisk you on a 3 hour tour of the city that takes you to the hidden eateries serving up the Sicilian classics locals love. Where this tour really packs a punch? The option to completely tailor it to your tastes. Obsessed with cannoli? Get your guide to take you to Palermo’s best bakeries. Looking for Sicilian’s indigenous wines? They’ll make sure you take a pew in front of the city’s top tipples. And, if you just want to see they city from their perspective – they can make that happen too. Handy, if you’re looking for a few foodie surprises.
Orbzii tip: As the tour can be totally personalised, you can ask you guide to accommodate any dietary needs too. Vegetarians eat well in Sicily, so don’t let any intolerances or diet stop you sampling Palermo’s finest eats.