Marsala is one of the most famous fortified wines in the world. It is produced exclusively in the city of Marsala, in the extreme west of Sicily, in the province of Trapani.
The style of Marsala wine was originally created by the English wine merchant John Woodhouse, who specialized in the distribution of Port, Sherry and Madeira and who arrived in Marsala in 1770. Thanks to him, Marsala quickly acquired a solid reputation in the British market. Much of the wine at the time was sold to the British fleet, at its peak. By order of Admiral Nelson, up to 500 barrels were shipped per year. Two centuries had to pass (in April 1969) for Marsala wines to receive the DOC designation, only a few months after Etna became the first DOC in Sicily. The first production regulations for Marsala wines were very permissive, allowing excessively high production yields.
However, the regulations were revised in 1984 and, with the aim of encouraging quality over quantity, the production yields for the vineyards were reduced, bringing them to 100 quintals per hectare for white grapes and 90 quintals for reds.
Five types of Marsala are linked to the ageing of wines: fine (one year), superior (two years), superior reserve (four years), virgin or soleras (five years) and finally virgin or solera stravecchio (ten years). The typologies are integrated by the official mentions relating to the colour and sugar content of the wines: gold, amber and ruby describe the shades of the wines; dry (max 40 g / l), semi-dry (40-100 g / l) and sweet (more than 100 g / l) indicate the amount of sugar in the finished product.
When was the last time you had dinner in an Italian restaurant in Canada and you thought you were dining in Italy? That’s exactly how “Ospitalità Italiana Certified”restaurants want you to feel when you visit their fine dining establishments.
Ospitalità Italiana is an official certification from Unioncamere, Italy’s federation of local Chambers of Commerce and Industry, that tells you that the food you are enjoying is unquestionably Italian: products are authentic, ingredients genuine and recipes true to the thousand year history of Italian cuisine.
Canada is home to some leading Italian Chefs. Passionate and innovative, many have refined their skills and advanced their knowledge directly in Italy. In addition, Montréal boasts a fabulous cooking school ITHQ where young aspiring chefs learn Italian technic and Italian traditional recipes from the masters.
So the next time you make reservations for an Italian dinner in a Montreal restaurant, ask if they’ve received the Ospitalità Italiana seal of approval. You will enjoy the true Italian taste.