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DOC for liqueur wine in the Italian region of Sicily . Probably the most famous Sicilian wine is one of the most famous dessert wines of the world. It is named after the port city (from Arabic Marsah-el-Allah = God port or gate) in the province of Trapani. The zone consists of over 5,000 hectares, with the exception of Sicily Island and associated offshore Pantelleria , And the two communities Alcamo and the entire province of Trapani in Favignana. In 1770 came the English merchant and wine expert John Woodhouse to Marsala and began with the export of Sicilian wines to England, because there the need to Port and Sherry the offer exceeded. As the year of the "invention" is 1773, when Woodhouse at each of the specific restricted for Britain four hundred liter barrels eight liters of alcohol. He had previously been employed in Portugal with the production of Port wine. In 1796 he opened in Marsala, which consists of a warehouse and winery first Marsala house.
The success of the new wine was initiated by the British Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), who ordered the British fleet in 1800 for an annual supply of 500 barrels. In 1812 Benjamin Ingham founded the English a second company in Marsala wine and exported to America and Australia. The largest, still existing Marsalahaus Florio was opened in 1832 by Vincenzo Florio. All three companies were finally in 1929 the Absinthe House Cinzano taken. The DOC regulations of 1969 were even more Flavoring with ingredients such as bananas, eggs, Peruvian bark, strawberries, almonds, cream, coffee etc.. Especially with the yolk offset "all'uovo Marsala" was immensely popular. Known as "Marsala Speciale" marked variations even had its own DOC status. The sometimes quite adventurous concoctions were ultimately bad for the image.
In 1984, new and highly restrictive DOC rules were adopted. The special forms could not be called Marsala and the permitted additives and manufacturing methods were strictly regulated. The starting material is a different blend of the white varieties Ansonica (Inzolia) Catarratto, Damaschino and the best to be qualitatively applicable Grillo, as well as the red varieties Calabrese (Nero d'Avola), Nerello (with clones Mascalese and Cappuccio) and Perricone ( Pignatello). There are three types of color Oro (white, gold-colored), Amber (white, amber) and Rubino (ruby, amber in age). For all of Oro and Ambra types in any combination, the four white grape varieties blended for all types Rubino, the three red (70-100%) and the white varieties (up to 30%). In all three grades below Marsala, there are these three colors. The wines are aged in three different degrees of sweetness. These are secco (dry residual sugar below 40 g / l), semi-secco (semi-dry, 40 to 100 g / l) and Dolce (sweet, more than 100 g / l). Since the year 1984 may only be two types Fine and Superior "Mosto cotto" (cooked, concentrated must) for sweetening and / or "siphons" (fortified musts) were added. On the bottle labels are included manchesmal abbreviations. These describe the exact method of production, but rather are just confusing. The following Marsala qualities:
Fine: The most abundant type enjoys a rather low reputation in terms of quality, since it produces the most easiest wines. The maturity period is at least a year, but need not be in the barrel. The alcohol content must be at least 17% alcohol by volume. On the label can be IP (Italy Particular) cited.
Superiore: maturation in the barrel is at least two and Superiore Riserva for at least four years. The alcohol content must be at least 18% alcohol by volume. For the most part, these wines are sweet (dolce) expanded. On the bottle label may SOM (Superior Old Marsala), his LP (London Particular) or DG (Dolce Garibaldi) cited.
Virgin or Soleras: This quality Marsala-type wines from different vintages and qualities similar to the solera system for Sherry artfully blended together. The sweet and Spriten is prohibited to the other two types. He will be expanded as a single type only in "secco" (dry or very dry). The alternatively used extra virgin and Soleras names, as well as Reserve and Stravecchio have the same meaning. The ripening time in the barrel be at least five; for virgin (Solera) Stravecchio or virgin (Solera) Reserve at least ten years. The alcohol content must be at least 18% alcohol by volume.
On the bottle label are listed under the product name: color, color and sweetness, for example, Marsala Vergine Stravecchio Oro Secco. The great age of Marsala seems to be over. From the mid-1980s it was introduced in 1984 because of stricter DOC statement a short-term renaissance, in the meantime, however, the traditional wine seems to slowly be forgotten. The production volumes were down to one-fifth, are now around 110,000 hectoliters annually only generated. Virgin / Soleras there only in small quantities. Well-known producers are (were): Marco de Bartoli, Donnafugata (No longer produced), Florio, Pellegrino and Rallo. Bartoli leads his excellent quality product, "Vecchio Samperi" virgin quality in the product name "Marsala" not on the bottle label at (no DOC status), but these markets only as simple Vino da Tavola. This is due to disagreements with the relevant authorities.