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20140429_115844It would only take something as delicious as wine and chocolate to get us to leave our beloved Siracusa for the day! So that’s exactly what we did!

We ventured inland from our seaside town towards Ragusa to visit one of the most beautiful wine estates we’ve ever seen.  The picturesque winery is committed to safeguarding the land and continuing to make wine in a way that respects the environment, keeping it in equilibrium with the surrounding ecosystem. The indigenous vines are grown organically with non-irrigated cultivation and are harvested by hand. Their focus on quality over quantity comes through as we taste their 2012 Carjcanti straight from the stainless steel vat – unfiltered and without sulfites added. Their other popular varietal is the local Nero d’Avola, often compared to a Syrah, with its sweet tannins and deep peppery flavors. And the four course lunch prepared for us 20140429_132336didn’t disappoint either, which was evident when no one could agree on a favorite course!

We reluctantly left this hilltop oasis to journey to nearby Modica for one of the area’s most popular products – chocolate. And this is chocolate like you’ve never tried before, made in the way of the Aztecs. And what better way to learn about this technique than to visit the oldest chocolatier in Sicily! Made without milk or cocoa butter, it is argued that this chocolate is actually 20140429_161051good for you…and we’re happy to believe it! We are allowed back into the kitchen to observe some of the ancient methods, as well as try some samples, before returning to the small shop to stock up on the uniquely-flavored bars to take home and share.

Our long day of filling excursions left no one anxious for a big dinner, so we were able to have a unique pub experience nearby, finishing up early so that everyone could pack up for an early departure as we sadly check out and leave Siracusa for our next destination – Soverato!