The practice of growing Zibibbo Grapes, native to the Sicilian island of Pantelleria, was inducted into the prestigious UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. It is the ONLY agricultural practice to appear on this list. Ever. The vote to include it on the list was unanimous. This is big.
This is big because it internationally recognizes the goodness of this very special grape and the traditional farming practices used by family vineyards for centuries. The men and women who cultivate these free-standing vines do so in truly backbreaking and harsh conditions in the name of tradition, culture, and quality. UNESCO says, “the traditional practice of cultivating head-trained bush vines (vite ad alberello) is transmitted through generations of vine growers and farmers of the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria.”
In Pantelleria the Zibibbo or Alexandrian Muscat grape are eaten in a variety of ways. For example, they are dried and become Zibbibo Raisins, used to make Zibibbo Elixir, and are of course used to make the famous Passito di Pantelleria.
Everything about Zibibbo is historic and important. The grape itself is native to both North Africa and Pantelleria (which is just 37 miles from Tunisia), and dates back to the Phoenicians.
Auguri to the farmers of Pantelleria that lobbied for such a long time for this recognition!