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The Flavours of Sicily

The history of Cantine Florio goes way back. We're in Sicily 180 years ago, in 1833 and Vincenzo Florio has decided to build here in Marsala what will become a great temple of wine.

by Flavio Incarbone
April 30th, 2014
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The history of Cantine Florio goes way back. We’re in Sicily 180 years ago, in 1833 and Vincenzo Florio has decided to build here in Marsala what will become a great temple of wine. Today, in this place overlooking the sea, the air you breathe is tradition, great artisan skill, entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to give anyone who is interested a taste of the pleasures of life. The new wine bar, the original cellars built in tufa stone, damaged during bombing in the Second World War and brought back to their historic splendour over the decades that followed, the open air gardens – it all exudes the spirit of its founders in this and other adventures. The Florio family knew all about diversifying into a range of activities, from the Targa Florio car race to the “tonnara” (tuna fishing), from a navigation company which worked in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean to the building of sumptuous villas.
Florio certainly numbers the well-known Marsala among its wines. Invented rather by chance by English trader John Woodhouse who bought a large supply of Perpetuum – similar to Port and Madeira – right here and added a great deal of alcohol to it to ensure that it would survive the journey by sea to England, it was an enormous success…

The Florios started making Marsala precisely in 1833 and they now make it in four variants. Their other wines include Passito di Pantelleria and Malvasia delle Lipari, fortified wines like Zibibbo and Grecale, a delicious sparkling wine and Amaro Florio flavoured with orange and made to a secret recipe which includes 13 different herbs, roots and spices.
“It is a brand of strong feelings”, they say in Sicily, “because of the fascinating tales linked to the creation of a historic product, an exceptional family and its many interests. Ongoing research for quality carried out by choosing the best fruit and careful and innovative working techniques with the objective of creating products packed with sensations which are as warm as those of the land they belong to. It is a strategic zone with a vocation for unique products. And a strategy aimed, by its very nature, at excellence, a company philosophy which has been taking care of the quality of the details for almost two hundred years”.
Today the Florio brand is part of the Gruppo Duca di Salaparuta which includes Corvo e Duca di Salaparuta, set up in1824, too.

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