etna wine trail

Mount Etna received DOC status in 1968, primary wine producing zone rises up the slopes with an elevation of 3,500 feet. Such high-elevation vineyards present some unique problems for vintners.

The steeply-sloped, terraced vineyards are difficult to navigate with mechanical equipment so most of the tending and harvesting of the vines has to be done by hand. Etna’s soil is rich with volcanic nutrients that are very hospitable to growing grapes. The wines of Etna’s region are primarily dry red and white but also include a few rosato (rosè) wines.

The Etna Rosso (Etna red) wines are blended wines. By regulation they must have a minimum of 80 percent Nerello Mascalese, a little-known indigenous variety that is produced only in the Mount Etna region. It is a deeply colored, thick-skinned variety that contributes gritty tannins and vibrant acidity to the Etna Rosso blend.

The junior partner in the blend is another indigenous red variety, Nerello Cappuccio which must comprise at least 10 but no more than 20 percent of the total this grape contributes spicy aromas, red berry flavors and perhaps a touch of elegance to the Etna Rosso blend.

 

The Etna Bianco (Etna white) wines must have a minimum of 60 percent Carricante, a little-known, indigenous white variety that is grown exclusively in the Etna region. While 40 percent of the blend can consist of other authorized local white varieties, some of the best Etna Bianco wines are made entirely of Carricante.

Oftentimes produced from grapes grown at the very highest reaches of the Etna DOC zone, Carricante-based wines can be lean, crisp and acidic. Other Carricante wines can be more full-bodied with a creamier texture and the wine’s trademark acidity balanced with generous fruit flavors.

 

If you choose the Etna Wine trail you visit 2 or 3 different wineries. During the tour our qualified staff will explain specific characteristics of the “Terroir” and the effect that Mediterranean climate have on the cultivation of the grapes. You will learn all about wine making process – from harvesting to bottling and aging of the wine – which are all carried out with typical Sicilian devotion and love. We visit beautiful winery extending from 650 to 850 meters above sea level. You will have the chance to admire typical Etna terraces where the vines grow, surrounded by small charming lava stone cottages, see the elements of old and modern wine production and taste a 100% Etna Doc. One of these tastings will be delighted with a light tasting lunch.

CONDITIONS

We do this itinerary with private transfer and a sommelier guide. Timing will be from 9.30 to 4.30pm. We propose a selection of Cellars located on north east and west of the Vulcano. Use the contact form for booking and more information

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