Etna on Sicily: the black soil and the elegant wines

It is an experience to travel to and visit the vineyards of Etna. The volcano Etna in itself is spectacular, especially if you are lucky enough to be here on a clear day.

In the vineyards on the slopes of Etna, Sicily

In the vineyards on the slopes of Etna, Sicily, copyright BKWine Photography

Etna is one of many wine regions on the island of Sicily and the main grape planted here is nerello mascalese. The wines made from this grape are often very pleasant. Quite light bodied actually for a wine coming from hot Sicily. One might imagine it to be heavy and full-bodied wines.

The other day we had a nerello mascalese at home. Tasted blind it was certainly a surprise: quite light with a very refreshing fruit, quite high acidity, red rather than black berries, lightish colour. Almost made you think of a Burgundy. Not what you would expect from a wine made almost in Africa. Delicious and interesting!

But Etna has a very particular micro-climate. The aromas are often intense and concentrated thanks to the low yielding and hard working albarello vines (gobelet style pruning), struggling to survive in the black lava soil. It is a difficult region to make wine in but it is worth it, says the wine maker at Tenuta di Passopisciaro.

Etna is becoming more and more popular among ambitious wine makers in Italy who want to make wine with character and personality. It is actually becoming quite a trendy region and a lot of investments are made here also from people coming from other pars of Italy.

Curious to learn more about Sicily, the island of sun, good food and exciting wines? BKWine arranges wine and food tours to Sicily. Look in our program schedule or contact us to discuss a custom tour.
The black soil on the slopes of Etna on Sicily

The black soil on the slopes of Etna on Sicily, copyright BKWine Photography

The winemaker taking a tank sample of Etna wine

The winemaker taking a tank sample of Etna wine, copyright BKWine Photography

A vine struggling in the poor soil on the Etna slopes, Sicily

A vine struggling in the poor soil on the Etna slopes, Sicily, copyright BKWine Photography

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