Why Sicily’s Mount Etna Is A Hot Spot For Wine Production (Forbes)

Between 1786 and 1788 German philosopher Johann Wolfgang Goethe travelled throughout Italy. He then wrote his book titled, in Italian, Viaggio in Italia—or, Italian Journey. After passing through Verona, Venice, Rome and Naples he explored the island of Sicily, and wrote that in order to understand the entire country of Italy, ‘Sicily is the clue to everything.

Italy is divided into 20 administrative regions—the southernmost being the island of Sicily. The region contains both eight percent of Italy’s land area as well as eight percent of the nation’s total population. The east of the island is distinguished by the largest active volcano in Italy—Mount Etna.

When he viewed Mount Etna in early May, Goethe remarked how ‘snow extends widely around the mountain and presents insurmountable obstacles,’ and noted how locals recommended that he ride by horseback to see remnants of the famed volcanic eruption of 1669, when magma flowed all the way to the city of Catania—10 miles (16 kilometers) away. Since that time when Goethe witnessed those gnarled volcanic slopes and published his book, the topography of Etna has continued to change. Another eruption in 1852 produced more than 2 billion cubic feet (56 million cubic meters) or debris that covered three square miles (7.7 square kilometers) of land, while in 1979 an eruption began that lasted 13 years.

(Publication of Goethe’s book—incidentally—apparently influenced a number of German winemakers to move to the eastern part of Sicily, where they practiced viticulture on the slopes of Etna.)

Slope of Monti Sartorius, a subsidiary of Mount Etna
Slope of Monti Sartorius, a subsidiary of Mount Etna

Continua a leggere “Why Sicily’s Mount Etna Is A Hot Spot For Wine Production (Forbes)”

New Etna Rosso finds

In Taste Buds We Trust

It’s about two years ago now (time flies!) that I took a closer look at Etna Rosso and recommended a few wines I liked. As I like to explore new things, I haven’t had Etna Rosso for a while, but recently I felt like going back to these intriguing wines. What I already mentioned in my previous post about Etna Rosso is confirmed in the wines I had this time as well : there is not one profile for Etna Rosso. Terroir and vintage are usually elements that are given to explain the differences, but my impression is that the style of the winery is just as important.

Here are three Etna Rossos I can wholeheartedly recommend :

ER 2014, Etna Rosso, Theresa Eccher

2014 is considered a difficult year for Italy, but things turned out relatively well for Sicily. Decanter’s Michael Garner describes the Etna Rossos of this vintage…

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Pietradolce, l’essenza e il misticismo dell’Etna

Violetta Candita

“Il valore di un vino sta nella sua capacità di trasmettere, in un sorso, l’essenza ed l’identità”

Il valore di un vino, a PIETRADOLCE s’inserisce in un concept iridescente e sfaccettato, rarefatto nei dogmi dalla travolgente leggibilità, grazie all’opera divulgativa che prende respiro nel carisma dei vigneti centenari e decennali coltivati ad alberello: Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio e Carricante come ambasciatori dell’identità del versante nord della viticoltura del vulcano.

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Leggibilità enologica che si trasmette attraverso l’identità marcata dei singoli terroir

Vinificando separatamente le uve delle distinte particelle si tratteggiano le nuances caratteristiche, esaltando con incisività la preponderante magmaticità dei suoli vulcanici e l’eleganza strutturale delle latitudini pedemontane. La vivacità geologica ed il peculiare microclima di contrada Rampante, a Solicchiata, e di contrada Zottorinoto, hanno nell’escursione termica e nell’irraggiamento solare due fattori caratterizzanti. Fattori che uniti al desiderio della Famiglia Faro di racchiudere nella produzione della Cantina PIETRADOLCE l’anima dei vitigni autoctoni, trovano…

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Harvest on Mount Etna – Santa Maria La Nave (VIDEO)

This video tells about the 2017 harvest on Santa Maria La Nave’s vineyard on Monte Ilice. As you will see from this other video, Monte Ilice is a crater of incredible beauty. It is quite recent: less than 1000 years old, nothing if you consider that Mount Etna was born more than 600.000 years ago…

Etneans have understood Monte Ilice agricultural potential and started to cultivate it a few centuries after it was created. The soil, made of black volcanic sand and stone chippings, was perfect to grow Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Carricante, Catarratto, and other local grapes that would be used to make Etnean wines. The grapes stayed intact until they were perfectly mature, thanks to the inclination of the crater, its exposure and its sandy soil, and the wine was deemed of high quality and “suited to the navigation” – i.e. it could endure a long sea journey. These characteristics played a critical part in the survival of the vineyard on Mount Ilice through the centuries. Continua a leggere “Harvest on Mount Etna – Santa Maria La Nave (VIDEO)”

Il carattere Etneo di Benanti: presente, passato e futuro dell’Etna

La storia moderna dei vini dell’Etna è iniziata qui; nessun dubbio, la famiglia Benanti ha segnato la storia, ha fatto la storia dell’Etna per come lo conosciamo oggi. Passato, ma anche presente, e certamente futuro.

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Nel corso della nostra visita abbiamo avuto il privilegio di incontrare due delle facce dell’avventura di Casa Benanti, il Cavaliere Giuseppe e suo figlio Antonio, che in momenti diversi della giornata ci hanno accompagnato fra mura intrise di storia e di vino, fra i vigneti museo di Monte Serra, fra i calici profumati del nettare di famiglia. E ci hanno raccontato, ci hanno narrato tanto di ricordi e sogni, progetti e fatiche, scoperte e rinunce. E, come ci ha insegnato Salvo Foti, con la sua idea dei vini umani, il “vino lo fa la visione di un uomo“, e se non conosci gli uomini e le donne che lo producono, non potrai mai capire pienamente quel vino. Continua a leggere “Il carattere Etneo di Benanti: presente, passato e futuro dell’Etna”