Mount Etna’s Rosé Wines

Lesson
Materials

CLASS NOTES

Mount Etna’s pale red wines have a very long history. For this reason the wines that we call rosé or Etna Rosato have a color and flavor profile that is directly tied to production methods that have been used for centuries. Pale red wines from vineyards on the volcano can be labelled DOC/DOP Etna, DOC/DOP Sicilia, IGT/IGP Terre Siciliane, or they may be categorized as a Vino da Tavola, a basic wine that.

ETNA DOC VARIETIES

The following grapes are used to make Etna Rosato:

  • Nerello Mascalese (nayr-rehl-low • mah-ska-lay-zay)
  • Nerello Cappuccio (nayr-rehl-low • kahp-pooch-chio)
  • And non-aromatic Sicilian grape varieties.

ETNA DOC WINE: ETNA ROSATO

Etna Rosato is a pale red wine that can be produced anywhere within the Etna DOC appellation. The color of a wine falls in a range from onion skin to bright red. The resulting wine is lightly scented with red fruits and flowers while having a small amount of structure on the palate, making it one of the easiest wines to pair with food.

ETNA ROSATO

This pale red wine is made with Nerello Mascalese (80% minimum) and non-aromatic indigenous Sicilian grape varieties. Nerello Cappuccio is a regular part of many blends. The color is achieved by limiting the amount of time that the black grape skins remain in contact with the juice before fermentation begins.

OTHER ROSÉ WINES

Pink (rosé) wines from Mount Etna do not have to adhere to Etna DOC regulations. In some cases, they can’t use the Etna name because the wine is made with Cabernet Franc or Pinot Noir, for example. Some times, the winery chooses to label a wine using a different system (DOC Sicilia or IGT Terre Siciliane for example) because they don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy required to use the name Etna, or the blend soes not adhere to the legal requirements of the Etna DOC. There can be a number of reasons why one wine is an Etna Rosato and another wine is not.

IN THE VINEYARD

Wine grapes on Mount Etna are managed by hand and trained in alberello, cordon, and guyot.

THE CELLAR

At harvest, grape clusters are removed from the vine by hand and carried to the winery in small crates. Winemakers press the grapes to remove the juice from the grapes slowly, so that some pigment colors the juice. For a deeper color, the pressing time is slowed even further. Once the skins and juice are separated, the juice is fermented until there is little or no sugar remaining in the new wine. Aging the wine takes place in stainless steel, wood, and other containers. The wine is typically bottled before the next harvest, but some producers choose to age their wines for longer.

DESCRIPTION: In this lesson we discuss the pale red wines of Mount Etna.

MATERIALS: Video + Short Lecture

SUGGESTED TASTING: Etna Rosato

REQUIRED READING:

  • Class Notes, on Lesson Page
  • The New Wines of Mount Etna: Section – Rosé Wines, Pg. 45 – 49
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