The island of Pantelleria is the southernmost territory of Italy and is situated virtually on the threshold of Africa. According to legend, the Goddess Tanit, taking a fancy one day to Apollo, wanted to attract his attention. She asked Venus what to do and the Goddess of Love advised Tanit to scale Olympus and pretend to be a cupbearer. Tanit followed the advice, but instead of serving Apollo ambrosia, the customary beverage of the gods, she poured out the fermented must of the vines of Pantelleria. The trick worked and Apollo not only took notice of Tanit but also fell in love with her. Since then, Pantelleria has been able to boast that it is the source of a wine that is capable of substituting for the divine ambrosia.
Moscato has been produced here since time immemorial, but it was only in 1883 that it began to be known outside Pantelleria. It was in that year that the Rallo Wine house of Marsala fame, added Moscato to its list.
The wine’s reputation was quickly established, especially on Sicily where, today, it’s still customary to drink this beverage on April 13, the feast day of St. Martin.
The wine is produced with the Zibibbo grape (Moscatellone) grown on the island of Pantelleria. Still and sparkling, passito and liquoroso versions are produced.