ITALIAN WINE CLUB

June 2021

VOLCANO JUICE

Just a few months ago Mt. Etna lit up the Sicilian skyline with yet another dramatically beautiful eruption. There truly is no other place in the world of viticulture quite like it’s domain. Sure, volcanic soils are so important for many regions both inside and outside of Italy, but the fact that ancient vines witness eruptions and fresh lava flow with such regularity is nothing shy of astounding. 

Etna wines have only recently been recognized fully for their potential, with complex terroir factors finally being studied and understood. Etna essentially created its very own microclimate, shooting up 3000 meters straight out of the sea. Many of the vines are own-rooted, over 100 years old in many cases, with volcanic ash making for very fertile soils which are extremely beneficial for organic farming. Each vineyard site could have an entirely unique soil composition compared to its neighbor due to the layers (and age) of lava flow that they may have been planted over. Cool. 

There is a continually evolving Cru system, or Contrada, designed to identify the more highly regarded vineyard sites; there are 133 officially designated Contrade, but certainly only a 12 or so are truly considered the highest quality. Soaking in the history, the terroir, the potential – learning about Etna is easily one of the most fun and interesting journeys in Italian wine. But the first step, as always, is to crack a bottle and taste the volcano.

Kevin Wardell, June 2021

 

DOWNLOAD PDF OF TASTING NOTES HERE

TORNATORE
‘PIETRARIZZO’
ETNA BIANCO

CARRICANTE + CATARRATTO
Castiglione di Sicilia, Sicily, Italy, 2019

GRACI ETNA ROSATO

NERELLO MASACALESE
Sicily, Italy 2019

PIETRO CACIORGNA
‘CIAURIA’

NERELLO MASCALESE
Etna, Sicily, Italy 2019

ROMEO DI CASTELLO
‘ALLEGRACORE’

NERELLO MASCALESE
Etna, Sicily, Italy 2018
WINE SMARTS.

WINE SMARTS.

And 10% off your next purchase. Pay no attention to the frog.

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