Sicily: Dramatic landscapes, delicious wines (The Spectator)

Not only is Etna gaining global attention for the diversity of its wines from the indigenous varietals of Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, and Carricante, but it’s also receiving recognition because of the remarkable producers at work there. These are the stories behind the family-owned wineries that encircle this lava-strewn terrain crafted by earthquakes, eruptions and extraordinary people. The following wineries are places with heart and soul—that are worth visiting not only for their refined, finessed wines, but also for their timeless Sicilian charm.

Barone di Villagrande

Dating back to 1727, Barone di Villagrande is one of the oldest wineries in the region of Etna. Family run for 10 generations, Barone di Villagrande is open to the public (with reservations) for tours and tastings and has four guestrooms—not to mention an impressive infinity pool carved from lava stone. Set on the eastern slopes of Etna in the area of Milo, this region gets 10 times more rain than the rest of Sicily. But though autumns and winters are very wet, summers are very dry, and it is this interesting microclimate that allows for the creation of special wines, high in acidity and crisp minerality. ‘For me, the typical taste of Etna is the freshness,’ says Marco Nicolosi, who now runs this certified organic vineyard and wine resort with his family. Nowhere is this freshness more apparent than in Barone di Villagrande’s Etna Bianco DOC Superiore, which pairs especially well with Sicilian dishes made with the wild fennel that can be found growing everywhere. www.villagrande.it

Pietradolce

Though this winery and tasting room is still under construction for a few more months, Pietradolce—on the cooler and dryer northern slopes of Mount Etna, in Solicchiata—has some of the most interesting wines in the area and is certainly worth a visit once opened. Don’t let the ultra-modern new winery and tasting room fool you; these wines are made from old roots (this will become apparent on a short walk to the Eden-like, verdant and wild Barbagalli vineyard that looks completely forgotten by time). Don’t miss a taste of the creamy Sant’ Andrea Bianco made with white Carricante grapes (this is their passion-project with an annual production of only 1,800 bottles), or the dusty tannins and bright acidity of the Archineri Etna Rosso, made from red Nerello Mascalese. The gorgeous graphic on the wine’s labels—a majestic, fiery female figure—is a nod to the volcano, or ‘Mama Etna’. www.pietradolce.it

Tenuta di Fessina

Part-historic winery and part-boutique hotel, Tenuta di Fessina is completely magical. The property’s 17th-century buildings on the north-eastern slopes of Etna have been styled into stunning suites (seven in total), tasting rooms, barrel cellars, and a refurbished palmento (a traditional pressing room). In a curving amphitheatre layout, terraced vineyards surround the stylish property, the vines getting progressively older as you move farther away. Fessina’s vineyards are also lush with olive, fig, peach, almond, and cherry trees—a throwback to older, more rustic times when survival was the main concern of farmers. Sip the silky, fragrant, and finessed Laeneo, made from 100% local red Nerello Cappuccio grapes, which is very rare and original—even for this terroir—and reminds us that the power of Sicilian wine lies in its authentic diversity. www.tenutadifessina.com

If you like to read the whole article, you can find it here: Sicily: Dramatic landscapes, delicious wines

Etna’s Eruption (Wine Spectator)

Driving along the northern flanks of Sicily’s Mount Etna some weeks ago, I noticed how much the wine scene there has changed in the past decade.

I’d come for the 11th edition of Contrade dell’Etna, a wine event that’s part barrel tasting of the recent harvest and part Sicilian party.

Etna was nowhere 10 or 11 years ago,” said Andrea Franchetti, founder of Passopisciaro winery and creator of the event, which opened early morning on the grounds of an ornate 19th-century villa. “Now producers come from Northern Italy to see what’s going on, and some start making wine. Continue reading “Etna’s Eruption (Wine Spectator)”

I Vignaioli di Etna Fusion e l’Etna (parte II)

Dopo le introduzioni di vignaioli di Etna Fusion della scorsa settimana (Lorella Reale, Marco Colicchio e Thomas Niedermayr) è la volta di incontrare Sybil Baldassarre, Stefano Amerighi e Paolo Baretta di Rocco di Carpeneto.

Iniziamo con Sybil Baldassarre, di La Graine Sauvage; Sybil dall’Italia si è trasferita in Languedoc a fare vini per conto suo.
– Sybil, cosa conosci (ed, eventualmente, cosa ti piace) dei vini dell’Etna?
“I vini dell’Etna li amo particolarmente poiché, come tutte le terre vulcaniche, hanno quel quid in più che li rende incontestabilmente unici e di singolare mineralità.
Sono vini autentici e provenienti da vitigni autoctoni, indissolubilmente legati alla loro zona di provenienza, con profili eleganti e pieni di freschezza, qualità rara nei vini del Sud.
Adoro i bianchi dell’Etna soprattutto dopo qualche anno di affinamento in bottiglia, sono vini che invecchiano splendidamente dando vita a profili aromatici assolutamente unici.
I rossi poi sono straordinari, spesso pinotteggiano come dei Grandi Bourgogne, sogno segretamente di provare a piantare i due mitici Nerelli anche qui a Faugères, nel sud della Francia. Continue reading “I Vignaioli di Etna Fusion e l’Etna (parte II)”

I Vini di Sicilia a Etna Fusion

Continuiamo a parlare di un evento la cui organizzazione ha catalizzato la nostra attenzione, come quella di chiunque ama i vini naturali in Sicilia; Etna Fusion 2018, già presentato qui.

Oggi è stato finalmente pubblicato sulla pagina Facebook di Vignaioli Naturali a Roma anche l’elenco (e che elenco!) delle cantine Siciliane che saranno presenti alla prima edizione di questo speciale appuntamento.. Eccolo qui:  Continue reading “I Vini di Sicilia a Etna Fusion”

I Vini di Sicilia premiati da “5StarWines THE BOOK”

In occasione del Vinitaly è stata presentata la nuova guida di vini “5StarWines THE BOOK”, che vuole premiare e stimolare lo sforzo delle aziende che investono nel continuo miglioramento qualitativo dei propri prodotti, attraverso un raffronto prestigioso che individui uno strumento unico di marketing e di promozione sui mercati internazionali.

I vini sono stati valutati da panel giudicante di esperti di altissimo valore internazionale e di specifica conoscenza geografica (Master of Wine, Master of Sommelier, Sommelier, esperti giornalisti ecc.), condotto da Ian D’Agata, direttore scientifico di Vinitaly International Academy. Qui i nominativi dei giurati.

Ecco le aziende Siciliane, e i loro “vini di Sicilia”, segnalati nella guida: Continue reading “I Vini di Sicilia premiati da “5StarWines THE BOOK””

Your Next Lesson: Etna Bianco

Once again Eric Asimov teaches about Sicilian wines to the American readers of The New York Times. Yesterday it has been published a nice introduction to Carricante and Etna Bianco. Here you can see part of this article:

In the last few years, Sicily and Mount Etna in particular have become well known for their red wines, particularly those made of the nerello mascalese grape, which we drank back in 2016.

This time, we will look at the white wines of Mount Etna, known as Etna Bianco. These wines are made largely, sometimes entirely, of carricante. As with so many Italian grapes, it was little known and little appreciated until the last 10 or 15 years, when winemakers began to show just how good carricante could be.

Continue reading “Your Next Lesson: Etna Bianco”

Alle Isole Eolie c’è il Malvasia Day. Riflessioni sul vino delle Lipari (Gambero Rosso)

Tra le tante facce della viticoltura eroica, quella delle Eolie spicca in modo particolare. Sino a qualche decennio fa sembrava destinata all’estinzione, tanto da sopravvivere solo sull’isola di Salina. Ora la vite è stata ripiantata anche dove era scomparsa, ritornando a Lipari, Panarea, Vulcano e presto anche a Stromboli. Il vino qui è una realtà piccola ma vivace, che vive con passione questa nuova fase della sua vicenda produttiva. Infatti, la produzione dell’uva e del vino negli anni ha subìto delle forti oscillazioni.

Continue reading “Alle Isole Eolie c’è il Malvasia Day. Riflessioni sul vino delle Lipari (Gambero Rosso)”

Malvasia delle Lipari 2014 Barone di Villagrande (The Wine Reporter)

 

Malvasia delle Lipari Passito.

Vintage 2014 of this wine is produced by Barone di Villagrande Estate which has its basement in the territory of Milo, on the south shadows of Mount Etna which is the highest active volcano in Europe (3.329 mt altitude).

However, the grapes from which this wine originates have grown at the Vallone Casella lands on the Island of Salina (Aeolian archipelago in Tyrrhenian Sea, North East of Sicily).

The wine Doc Malvasia delle Lipari is perfectly composed according Doc product specification: 95% of grapes Malvasia delle Lipari and a 5% of Corinto Nero, a red variety grape genetically similar as the Sangiovese.

This is an ecstatic wine. The flavor starts with typical notes of dried apricot, then iodine notes, broom flowers and honey. Its taste is measured, polite, sweet but not too much, with a soft, smooth and not very long freshness

Sorgente: Sweet Island Wine – Malvasia delle Lipari 2014 Barone di Villagrande | The Wine Reporter

Barone di Villagrande: slaking Mt Etna wine thirsts since 1727 (Wine – Mise en abyme)

In describing the soils upon which the Villagrande vines are planted, the staff mentioned that they were the beneficiary of the formation of the valle del bove. According to their understanding, and supported largely by at least one scholarly reference, the valle del bove was formed by the collapse of a dormant volcano. The collapse of the dormant volcano resulted in landslides which carried debris as far as the coat. The Villagrande location benefited from deposits of some of this complex soil as it worked its way towards the sea. The Villagrande soil is rich in iron and copper and has adequate amounts of potassium, phosphorous and magnesium. It is poor in nitrogen and calcium-free.

Varieties planted in Milo are the white indigenous grape Carricante as well as Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Capuccio, and Nerello Mantellato.

Sorgente: Wine — Mise en abyme: Barone di Villagrande (Milo, Sicily): slaking Mt Etna wine thirsts since 1727

Rinasce il Consorzio per la Tutela della DOC Malvasia delle Lipari e IGT Salina (Wine in Sicily)

lipari_malvasia-1024x429

E’ una giornata importante per i vini prodotti sulle isole Eolie. E’ infatti rinato il Consorzio per la Tutela della DOC Malvasia delle Lipari e IGT Salina, nuovo lo Statuto e nuove le cariche sociali. L’idea di rivedere il consorzio con un nuovo statuto rispondente ai requisiti per il riconoscimento ministeriale nacque un anno fa, proprio durante il Malvasia Day. Proposito che, finalmente, ha preso forma oggi.

Obiettivo: valorizzare questo vino da meditazione unico e straordinario, la Malvasia delle Lipari, insieme ai vini IGT Salina.

Ecco i nomi delle cantine aderenti:

– Carlo Hauner (nuovo socio)
– Punta Aria
– Tasca d’Almerita
– Barone di Villagrande
– Caravaglio
– Virgona
– Fenech
– Colosi (nuovo socio)
– Salvatore D’Amico

Sorgente: Rinasce il Consorzio per la Tutela della DOC Malvasia delle Lipari e IGT Salina – Wine in Sicily