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!