Zibibbo of Pantelleria
Jérôme Loubès - CC3.0
Zibibbo di Pantelleria is an excellent product of Italian viticulture. The heroic nature of its production, in the hands of a few producers and challenged by numerous adversities, make it a product of unique rarity and quality. The term Zibibbo is used to define the Moscato d'Alessandria grape, but more commonly it refers to the fortified wine made from it. Zibibbo or Moscato d'Alessandria is a vine originating from Egypt, introduced on the island of Pantelleria by the Phoenicians in the eighth century BC. Unlike white Moscato, which is widespread in almost all of Italy, the cluster of Zibibbo is slightly larger and has slightly ovoid berries with a thicker skin. The term "Zibibbo" derives from "zibib" an Arabic term which means "raisins" or "raisins" and which evidently refers to the characteristics of the vine which lends itself well to drying and over-ripening from which one of the products is born leading wine producers in southern Italy. The terraces of Arab origin on which vines were historically planted survive on the island of Pantelleria: they still constitute a distinctive feature of Pantelleria production that has adapted to the unique environment of the island. The particularity of this production is such that it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in November 2014; an exceptional milestone if you consider that it is the first time that an agricultural practice has been registered on the Unesco list. Zibibbo producers still work manually, sometimes using towed tools and mules, contributing to the uniqueness of a product that is the result of centuries of history. To protect the vine from strong coastal winds, the Zibibbo is grown with a very low sapling, resting in a basin so that the vegetation practically touches the ground and forms a barrier to winds and salt.