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Zibibbo - also known as Muscat of Alexandria - is a large grape indigenous to north Africa and Pantelleria, a tiny island in the Mediterranean between Sicilia and Tunisia. Cultivation of Zibibbo grapes dates back to the time of the Phoenicians, but on Pantelleria, the intense heat and volcanic soil create the perfect sweet and tangy fruit.
And we’re not the only ones who are wild about it. Zibibbo farming in Pantelleria, passed down through generations of vine growers, is the first agricultural activity to ever be included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. In Pantelleria, the Zibibbo grape is used to make the famous sweet dessert wine Passito di Pantelleria, dried to make Zibibbo raisins, and reduced to make Zibibbo Elixir. However you enjoy them, you’ll be tasting a tradition hundreds of years in the making.
La Nicchia was founded in 1949 when Antonio Bonomo and Girolamo Giglio began producing capers on Pantelleria. Their children are committed to carrying on their work, and have entrusted the production to Gabriele Lasagni, whose passion for the study of Pantelleria’s raw materials echoes the founders’ devotion to the island and its natural resources. The name La Nicchia, which means “niche” in Italian, calls to mind both the growth of capers in every cranny and crevice of the island, and the uniqueness of the artisanal foods the company creates.
Since its founding, the company has expanded beyond capers to a full line of products using local crops, including caperberries (cucunci in Sicilian dialect), oranges, lemons, olives, and zibibbo raisins. La Nicchia strives to present the best of what the land has to offer, crafted in the simplest way possible.