Terroir

Etna is the tallest active volcano in Europe and it was formed during the Quaternary Period, about 570,000 years ago. During these thousands of years, many craters formed on its sides from the main volcanic conduit. One of these lateral craters is Mount Ilice. Mount Ilice is on Etna’s Southeast side and has probably been the most active among all of Etna’s lateral craters. The famous eruption that occurred around 1030 A.C. was significant; the crater produced a lava flow of about 10 Kilometers which destroyed quite a few villages in its path and ended up in the sea, near Stazzo.

Millenary lava flows act as carpeting for our vineyards, supplying an incredible amount of minerals. The whole vineyard is facing eastward, overlooking the sea. This favorable position, in addition to the elevation of 750m above sea level, creates a strong thermal excursion. During the day, the vineyards are completely exposed Sicily’s hot sun; in the evening, because of the high altitude, the temperatures drastically go down by 15-20 °C. This great thermal excursion causes an increase in sugar content, a decrease in acidity, an enhanced phenolic composition of grapes with a high concentration of aromatic substances in the peel – which guarantees a final product with a more intense and elegant bouquet, in addition to the presence of fixed acids in the pulp, which are necessary for proper preservation of wine.

All our vineyards are located on small terraces, where automatized labor is not possible, therefor all production stages are done strictly by hand. The composition and state of dissolution of eruptive material gives way to sandy volcanic terrain made of small pumice rocks called “ripiddu”, with high drainage capacity, which in turn keeps water from stagnating at the root of the vines. Another characteristic of Etna is that this “good giant” erupts 2 to 3 times a year. The volcanic sand produced at each eruption, thanks to the wind, lands on the areas all around the volcano, continuously enriching and altering the terrain composition. Our philosophy is to preserve our extraordinary terroir as much as possible.