A paradise for every wine lover: the Etna area

Hundreds of wineries await you with their wines and their history

For those who enjoy a good wine and are visiting the Etna cannot fail to visit one of the many wineries that produce excellent wines in the Etna DOC territory (DOC means “Di Origine Controllata, lit. Denomination of Controlled Origin). In recent years, international attention has been given to this unique area which offers a variety of wines with deep historical roots and thousand-year-old vines. Visiting an Etna winery is not just a simple visit. You will immerse yourself in an atmosphere of the past … it is a leap into the past, in that Sicily that produced wine for family use, but which today has a place of honor in the international wine industry.

A terroir unique in the world gives to the Etna wine its mark

The Etna terroir is one of a kind. The soil is very permeable, rich in potassium and low in nitrogen and phosphorus. The vines are located at a height ranging from 300 to 900 meters, with peaks of 1100, 1200 meters depending on the slopes and their microclimates. The climate of these territories can be defined as temperate and varies according to the slope and therefore exposure. The north side is the rainiest, and the temperature ranges are very high, the vineyards and cellars of Randazzo, Castiglione di Sicilia and Linguaglossa are on the north side. The east side, on the other hand, is influenced by sea breezes and is also the earliest ripening zone, with good daily temperature excursions and temperatures with never too high peaks, as in the territories of Giarre, S. Venerina and Mascali. To the south, there is a later ripening environment due to the temperature changes that reach the highest peaks. But it is in the South West that the least rainy area is found, and with a lower humidity rate, which allows the vines of Nerello Mascalese to climb up to 1100 meters, and where the Carricante even reaches 1200 meters. The Etna wines are unique in the national and international panorama and are defined as “minerals”, savory, with strong acidity and great character.

The uniqueness of the autochthonous vines of Etna

Going instead to identify the most important vines of Etna in first place we undoubtedly find the Nerello Mascalese which is certainly the most important grape of the Etna area as it represents the production of Etna DOC wine for 80-100%. It is a very ancient native grape variety that is grown on the slopes of Etna between 350 and 1000 m.a.s.l. in the sapling shape, but today also in spurred cordon. Its name is to be attributed to the town of Mascali, which is located on the Ionian coast, with land mainly of volcanic sand. This grape ripens very late which is why the harvest is done in the second and third week of October. The wines obtained from this grape have a high alcohol content and very often destined for long aging even if the color remains drained and therefore not intense red. Its maximum expression of excellence is when it is combined with the “Nerello Cappuccio”. Considered the brother of “Mascalese”, the “Nerello Cappuccio” gives the wine its color and a spicy and fruity aroma. If produced in purity it is not indicated for long aging. An exceptional grape, to the point of being increasingly vinified in purity, given the indelible memories of its expressions. On Etna there is an important production of white wines, unique in their kind. Noteworthy as certainly the most important white grape variety of the Etna region is the “Carricante”. A grape that has been present on Etna for at least a millennium. Particularly suitable for this volcanic sand soil that holds up well at high altitudes. The characteristic notes of this wine are certainly the citrus and mineral hints. We are waiting for you to accompany you to discover the Etna wine surrounded by a lunch with local products for an unforgettable food and wine experience!

Visit Taormina, “the pearl of the Mediterranean”

A timeless beauty that fascinates the whole world

One of the most well-known and renowned centers and an unmissable stop is definitely Taormina. In relatively little space, if we want to say so, Taormina has an immense archaeological and cultural heritage. In addition to being an elegant and refined town, Taormina impresses with its privileged position on a cliff overlooking the sea from which you can admire the beaches and the breathtaking view.

Its narrow streets are picturesque and it is a real pleasure to stroll through the characteristic streets where time seems to stand still. There is a wide choice of restaurants and bars where you can taste typical Sicilian dishes or refresh yourself with an original “Granita”. Precisely for its beauty and uniqueness Taormina has also been chosen as a set for various films by international directors such as for example “Le grand bleu” by Luc Besson, “The little devil” (orig. Il Piccolo Diavolo) by Roberto Benigni, “The godfather-part III”; of Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen’s “The Goddess of Love” to name a few.

Greeks, Romans and Arabs; A mixture that still resists today

Taormina is a concentrate of artistic and historical beauties not to be missed. Founded in 358 BC by the Greeks, Taormina is part of the oldest Greek colonies in Sicily. In fact, the most important monument in the city dates back to this period, namely the “Teatro Antico” (Ancient Theater). Taking advantage of the hillside position, the theater offers a magnificent view of the Sicilian Ionian coast viewing until Calabria and mount Etna with its summit in the background.

Later the city passed under the domination of the Romans who elected it as the capital of eastern Sicily and therefore of strategic importance for the Eastern Roman Empire until the arrival of the Arab domination which lasted from 902 to 1079. After that there was the domination of the Normans and the Spanish.

Events, Concerts and a lot of history to discover

One of the main reasons is certainly the Greek Theater, the Romans used to organize summer performances such as gladiator games. Today, given its extraordinary and suggestive location, it hosts numerous events and concerts. From “Corso Umberto” the main street, where you can stop in one of the many bars or go shopping exclusive you will reach “Piazza Vittorio Emanuele” where you can visit the Museum of Sicilian Arts and Traditions. Reaching the church of “San Nicola” built in 1400 there is “Piazza Duomo”, the meeting place of Taormina where there is also beautiful Baroque fountain.

A special mention goes to the suggestive “Villa Comunale” of Taormina, you will be enchanted by the colors and the beautiful view that this place will give you. Lady Florence Trevelyan Cacciola, a Scottish noblewoman, passionate about botany, had it built specifically around 1884 by planting plants and flowers from all over the world.

What are you waiting for to visit this pearl of the Mediterranean?