For such an old wine region, Mount Etna is a young wine region by modern standards. Bottled wines have only been produced here for a few short decades, yet the rapidly growing interest in the native varieties grown on the slopes of Europe’s largest and most-active volcano are taking the wine-world by storm.
There are very few “large” wineries on the mountain. Many of the wineries are small family-run businesses. Each one of them is driven by a passion for the and traditions that have been handed down for generations.
Etna Bianco / White wines from Etna are based on the Carricante grape (minimum 60%) with some Catarratto (no more than 40%). These wines feature ripe citrus fruits and minerality with a focused lean to lush mouthfeel with great potential for food pairing and cellaring.
Etna Bianco Superiore / White wines with a Superiore status from Etna are also based on the Carricante grape (minimum 80%), with Catarratto or Minnella (no more than 20%), but the grapes have to come exclusively from the Milo contrade. The Superiore wines present the best qualities of the Carricante grape: mature, lush citrus with a focused palate and lingering finish. As with the Etna Biano wines, there is great potential for food pairing and cellaring.
Etna Rosso or Rosato / Red wines and Rosé wines from Etna are based on the Nerello Mascalese grape (minimum 80%), and other non-aromatic grape varieties (no more than 20%), with the Nerello Cappuccio/Mantellato as the most important blender. The red wines of Mount Etna are often compared to some of the great wines of the world. The fresh fruit aromas and flavors – strawberry, cherry, black fruits – strike an intriguing chord between the fresh acidity and ripe fine-grain tannins. These wines can pair easily with a spectrum of foods and often show best after several years of aging.
By blending the warm climate of Sicily, the cool high-altitude vineyards of Mount Etna, and attention to detail in every aspect of their production, the producers of Mount Etna are making outstanding wines from these classic Sicilian grape varieties.