Sicily is the largest wine-growing region in the country, with just under 9% of Italy's total land area and 101,000 hectares of vineyards (as of 2014). Until the mid-1990s the island abroad was known primarily for the sweet wine Marsala. A large part of the rest of the wine production was sold as a barrel wine to the well-known wine regions of Europe, where it served as a wine to improve or increase the local production. For a long time, the red wines of the island were not named according to their place of origin or grape variety, but to the port from where they were shipped (Marzamemi, Scoglitti, Riposto). A further part of the production was also used for the distillation of alcohol and the production of grapes. It was not until the end of the 1990s that Sicilian wines were introduced, which also bore the name of the island. After initially cultivating international grape varieties in order to open up the international markets, the winemakers discovered local grape varieties, especially the internationally known Nero d'Avola. The last is currently the most important grape variety in Sicily and is located there on 18,000 hectares of vineyards (2013). Numerous other traditional or autochthonous grape varieties such as Zibibbo, Catarratto, Grillo, Frappato, Perricone, Carricante and Inzolia are now grown under their name and, together with the names of the growing areas (eg Etna), symbolize the diversity of the Sicilian wine region . Since 2005 the Cerasuolo di Vittoria has been the first DOCG-classified wine of Sicily. The cultivation areas for DOC / DOCG wines account for about 12% of the total vineyard area (about 12,000 ha / as of 2014). In comparison, the share of the DOC cultivation area was still below four percent in 2000. A special feature is the foundation of the DOC Sicily (since the 2012 wine year), which includes the territory of the entire island and may appear on the label as "Sicilia". Thus the Sicilian origin can also be clarified in the more unfamiliar DOC appellations.