For the first time in its history, the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is dedicating a session to sweet and fortified wines which is due to start this Tuesday in Sicily. The 50 judges can expect a robust programme of tastings, conferences, visits of the region and gatherings.
Over four days, more than 50 judges – including journalists, winemakers, buyers and educators – from four continents representing 20 different nationalities will be asked to assess over 500 sweet and fortified wines. The number of entries in this category has reached an all-time high for the competition.
Sicilian wines are extremely well-represented in the competition. From Marsala to Pantelleria, the Aeolian Islands to Noto and Syracuse, Sicily boasts a winegrowing heritage spanning centuries and long-standing traditions. In the western part of Sicily, Marsala wines are iconic, encapsulating the values associated with sweet and fortified wines. Sicily is renowned for its sweet wines, particularly the Marsala appellation. The category, which is very highly rated, shares some common characteristics with the island itself. Both have their origins in an ancient past, sit within a unique landscape, are closely linked to gastronomy and come with a rich cultural heritage. The wines show a rare intensity and are as varied as the colours of the scenery. The native grape varieties are the finest examples of time-honoured traditions, setting them apart from the rest of the world. The aim of this stand-alone session is to channel media attention towards these distinctive wines, particularly Sicily’s rich variety of sweet wines such as Marsala, Passito de Pantelleria, Malvasia delle Lipari, Moscato di Noto and DOCs made from Zibbibo and Malvasia, to name a few.
The decision to hold the competition in Lilibea stems from an agreement signed in Palermo by the Regional Councillor for Agriculture, Antonio Scilla, and the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. In addition to the economic and organisational commitment pledged by the Regional Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Mediterranean Fisheries, other stakeholders include I.R.V.O.S. and the Marsala Wine Route Association ‘Terre d’Occidente’, who have taken responsibility for rolling out a number of activities.
About the competition
The Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is an international competition with over 10,000 wines entered by producers to be tasted and judged by a panel of experts. Our experienced judges taste the wines in the competition with one guiding principle, and that is to single out wines of irreproachable quality, with no bias stemming from the label or an appellation’s prestige. The Concours is one of the most significant