The wines from Mount Etna are getting more and more attention. The unique location on Sicily's eastern coast, on the slopes of an active volcano does add an "extreme vineyards" interest, but it's the people working these vineyards that really make the wines.
- Bianco Superiore
- Rosso / Rosso Riserva
- Spumante (rosato or bianco)
- Bianco: minimum 60% Carricante. maximum 40% Catarratto Bianco Comune or Cataratto Bianco Lucido: maximum 15% Trebbiano and/or Minnella Bianca and/or other non-aromatic white grapes suitable for cultivation in Sicilia
- Bianco Superiore :minimum 80% Carricante
- maximum 20% Trebbiano and/or Minnella Bianca and/or other non-aromatic white grapes suitable for cultivation in Sicilia
- Rosso/Rosato: minimum 80% Nerello Mascalese maximum 20% Nerello Mantellato (Nerello Cappuccio) maximum 10% other red grapes suitable for cultivation in Sicilia
- Spumante (rosato or bianco) minimum 60% Nerello Mascalese. maximum 40% other grapes suitable for cultivation in Sicilia
This small estate on the northern slope of Mount Etna was recently established by Marco de Grazia, owner of the nearby Tenuta delle Terre Nere. Establishing Le Vigne di Eli - Marco says - was effortless. A simple act of love towards my little daughter Elena (Eli). It happened in 2006. I was offered first one, then another, tiny vineyard, both in exceptional crus: Feudo di Mezzo and Moganazzi-Voltasciara. I bought them, and since the parcels were so small and fine, I was somehow reminded of Elena. Thus, Le Vigne di Eli was born. To use Elenas drawings as labels came naturally because I love her art work. And equally naturally came the impulse to have this childs estate be a help to children in need. Thus a substantial part of the small proceeds go to a childrens hospital, the Ospedale Pediatrico Meyer in Florence. With this, the childrens project came full circle.Today, seeing the growing appreciation for Elis very fine wines, Ive selected more tiny parcels of outstanding quality, contracting them, and releasing a bit more very fine wine. This includes a lovely Etna Bianco from a vineyard in Milo. And in the future I know Ill surely be tempted by other precious little parcels. Well just have to wait and see.
The particular conditions of the soils and the micro-climate of Mt Etna greatly influence this wines characteristics. The higher acidity of the Carricante grapes is balanced by the Catarratto grapes, increasing this wines complexity. The special finesse of the bouquet and the taste derives from the volcanic soils of the Etna. It is an ideal wine to be served with delicate food.
About the producer
The Murgo family has been making wine on the eastern side of Mount Etna at Santa Venerina since 1860. Different plots and terrors vary around the 700 metro elevation. A new winery was built in 1980, and the family also produces award winning Olive Oil.
The property Terrazze dell’Etna (Terraces on the Etna) stretches from 650 to 850 meters above sea level and brushes up against the natural Etna Park: it was acquired and framed in 2008 by Nino Bevilacqua, a Palermitan engineer deeply in love with his homeland. His passion for Sicily has induced him to rediscover and restore an ancient and characteristic agricultural estate, purchasing numerous small plots of land which shape an amphitheatre of terraces where vineyards are cultivated.
Today the property is made up of terraced land and small stonewalls running along the vineyards and woods of oak and chestnut trees. The small stonewalls mark off the territory where the Nerello Mascalese, a historical local vineyard cultivation, the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir are being grown taking nourishment from the fertile land of the Etna, the very symbol of Sicily throughout the world.
The project started with the supervision of the enologist Riccardo Cotarella and with a very precise purpose: to obtain, with this 36 hectares property, the highest quality in the full respect of the land. Refinement and excellence at all stages of the production chain are the distinctive force of the Terraces on the Etna: the ancient manual expertise used in the past for the harvest process is today combined with state-of-the-art technology in order to produce wines with a unique personality.