Etna: As an elemental force, the highest active volcano in Europe towers over Sicily. It leaves no one cold, fascinating and frightening at the same time, it has fascinated people since time immemorial.
Regularly he puts the islanders in fear and terror. Lava flows roll into valleys and earth tremors from its interior cause the island to shake. Etna is both a curse and a blessing. Even the many tourists cannot escape its fascination. And its cooled lava flows are the reason for the dark, rich volcanic soils, rich in minerals, a highly complex mixture of sediments, ashes and weathered lava. Wonderful, exciting, refined wines grow on them, which do credit to the place. For the lava soil provides a distinct minerality in the wine of the Etna DOC appellation, and together with the altitude and the fresh, rougher winds of the sea that cool it down, invigorating acidity and freshness come into the beautiful red Etna wines, the Etna Rosso DOC. It is the Nerello Mascalese grape variety that makes its mark in the wine world with Etna wines. The autochthonous variety, similar to Pinot Noir, is said to have the ability to transport the finest nuances of the terroir, i.e. it has the potential to produce great wines, it is said.
Sicilian winegrowers use something that has been around for centuries and was made this way. Because already in the times of the ancient Greeks, the wild vines on the slopes of Etna were cultivated as little trees, also called alberello training. In almost all wine regions this rather wild looking form of education was eliminated, too little yield had been produced. On the Etna DOC vineyards you can still find them, even vines up to 100 years old, gnarled and the wood almost as black as the dark lava soils can be seen. As one of the very rare representatives that survived the great vine death of the vine aphids, they are even rootless, an absolute rarity in Europe. The wild, filigree and extremely elegant wines cause a sensation, the area is considered a boomland. But the bubbling witch's cauldron of Etna does not make it easy for its winegrowers. Like a sword of Damocles, its smoke hangs in the sky and warns people that it can destroy at any time what grows and flourishes at its feet. One more reason not to miss this extraordinary wine, we think!
Picture: Eduan de Bruijne
"Etna DOC wines are unique in their strength and refinement."