Grillo is a Sicilian white grape variety most famous for its role in fortified Marsala wines. It is still widely planted on the island despite Marsala’s fall from fashion and is now used most commonly in a variety of still white wines, both varietal and blended.

There is some debate as to the origins of Grillo, as its earliest mention comes as recently as the mid-19th Century. Some believe that the variety is native to Sicily, suggesting it is the progeny of Catarratto and Muscat of Alexandria.

Others have hypothesized that it was brought to the island from the southern Italian region of Puglia. There is even some evidence to suggest that this was the variety in the Roman wine Mamertino, a particular favorite of Julius Caesar.

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