1773 – English trader John Woodhouse landed in the South of Italy, at the port of Marsala, where he had been totally enraptured with the local wine produced in the region. According to tradition, Marsala was aged in wooden casks, tasted similar to Spanish and Portuguese, and just a bit fortified for English consumers using a process called in perpetuum. They appreciated so much the Southern liquor – they said Buckingham Palace still has a huge store of this Sicilian wine in its canteen – that Sir Woodhouse returned to Sicily in 1796 to produce Marsala. In the late 19th century a Calabrese entrepreneur, Vincenzo Florio, purchased Woodhouse’s firm, consolidating the Marsala wine industry. He established Le Cantine Florio in 1833 that still exist and remain one of the leading producers of Marsala today.

In 1969 Marsala wine was recognised with the DOC, Denominazione di Origine Controllata – literally Controlled Designation of Origin – a quality assurance label for Italian food products. It was the first wine in Italy to get this label.

The Pantone Color Institute may have thought about its fascinating history and the timeless colour of its warm, enchanting and natural shades, when they decided Marsala, a wine red with strong brown undertones, would be the colour of the year 2015.

Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us into its embracing warmth,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director at Pantone Color Institute.



Complex and full-bodied without overpowering, Marsala provides a unifying element for interior spaces. Add elegance to any room by incorporating this rich and welcoming hue in accent pieces, accessories and paint. Marsala’s plush characteristics are enhanced when the colour is applied to textured surfaces, making it an ideal choice for rugs and upholstered living room furniture. Nurturing and fulfilling, Marsala is a natural fit for the kitchen and dining room – making it ideal for tabletop, small appliances and linens throughout the home. The hue will be especially prominent in striping and floral patterns found in printed placemats, dinnerware, bedding and throws.

(*Source: Pantone Color Institute)

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