Great Wines of Italy Masterclass: Discover the Wines of Sicily and Etna

Date(s) - November 20, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

James Suckling Wine Central


The southern island of Sicily delivers wines with typicity that reflect the unique terroir and growing environment.



Nov 13, 2021 (Saturday); 12noon – 1 P.M.

@ James Suckling Wine Central

8 wines to taste / HK$388 per person

Join this special wine tasting masterclass and roundtable conversation hosted and presented by the tasting team.

The southern island of Sicily delivers wines with typicity that reflect the unique terroir and growing environment. Of particular acclaim recently are the dynamic wines from Etna: a volcanic region that has had a long history of winemaking combined with more recent improvements in winemaking. Taste a variety of wines from the island: the local white grape Grillo before exploring a range of mineral and refined Etna Rossos based on nerello mascalese, before ending on a sweet note with the aromatic and complex Passito di Pantelleria Ben Rye.

Tornatore Etna Bianco Zottorinotto 2019 , 95 pts

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Cusumano Etna Bianco Alta Mora 2019 , 93 pts

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Cusumano Etna Rosso Alta Mora Guardiola 2016 , 93 pts

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Donnafugata Etna Rosso Contrada Montelaguardia Fragore 2018 , 97 pts

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Tornatore Etna Rosso Riserva 2016 , 96 pts

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Tasca d’Almerita Nerello Mascalese Etna Rosso Tascante Ghiaia Nera 2019 , 95 pts

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Tasca d’Almerita Grillo Sicilia Tenuta Regaleali Cavallo delle Fate 2020 , 93 pts

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Donnafugata Passito di Pantelleria Ben Rye 2019 , 96 pts


Two of the most dynamic vintners in Italy, Diego and Alberto Cusumano, are the third-generation heads of this famous name in Sicilian winemaking. Utilising local and international grape varieties, the brothers produce excellent wines from unique vine-growing regions that offer great value for money. Both the reds and whites here offer outstanding quality at great prices, and it would be a mistake to pass up these wines that beautifully express the volcanic growing region of Etna. Cusumano continues to wave the flag of Sicilian winemaking around the world.


Founded in 1983 by Giacomo Rallo and his wife Gabriella, the Donnafugata winery produces distinctive expressions of Sicily. Today the fifth generation, Jose and Antonio, nurture the estate’s four clusters of vineyards (Contessa Entellina, Pantelleria, Etna, Vittoria) with impeccable attention to detail according to their unique terroirs. Labels are artworks with a feminine identity, inspired by Gabriella. The family also shows their passion for the environment; Donnafugata was one of the first wineries in the country to use solar panels for renewable energy. The winery’s icon wines are the reds Mille e una Notte and Fragore and the naturally sweet wine Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria DOC. James finds their naturally sweet wines to be among the best in Italy.


The Tornatore family oversees one of the largest vineyard holdings – 46 hectares – in the Etna DOC. Since the soils here are of volcanic origin, they imbue the indigenous grapes planted at 550 to 700 meters above sea level with tremendous character. The family started farming in Sicily back in 1865, and winemaking began in earnest in 1910. In the 1930s, Giuseppe Tornatore, grandfather of current patriarch Francesco, helped to map out the cadastrals for the Castiglione di Sicilia land registry. James has a soft spot for the Etna Rosso wines here which are perfumed and graceful, while the whites, especially in the form of Pietrarizzo, are also worth seeking out. The winery will become 100% organic by January 2022.

Tasca D’Almerita

In recent years Sicilian wine has seen an upsurge in popularity among wine drinkers all across the world. No doubt, Tasca d’Almerita deserves serious credit for upping the region’s reputation, as it exports to more than 60 countries and has a long history for quality winemaking. Founded in 1830, the winery farms both international varietals (chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon) and local ones (nero d’avola, nerello mascalese, catarratto, and inzolia). James has been a fan of Tasca d’Almerita for many, many years, and indeed Regaleali, one of their five estates, has been one of Sicily’s most important for nearly two centuries.

This masterclass tasting at James Suckling Wine Central is part of Great Wines of Italy 2021 Grand Tasting & Masterclass Program throughout November – a series of curated tasting events featuring close to 100 of Italy’s greatest producers and their top-scoring wines. Check out the full line-up of all masterclass tastings and other programs during the tasting month at:

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For question or enquiries, contact us at or via phone at 2539 7999.