Over the last few days, the spectacular images of the eruption of Mount Etna, a Sicilian volcano that not infrequently shows clearly visible effusive eruptive activity, have gone around the world.
In such an apparently hostile environment, wines of absolute value are born, whose uniqueness and peculiarities derive precisely from morphological and climatic conditions that are unique in the world.
In fact, volcanic ash contains very high concentrations of minerals and, when mixed with the soil, nutrients such as phosphates, nitrates, potassium and calcium, which are necessary for the healthy growth of the plants.
Naturally, the work in the vineyard, given the unevenness of the soil and the low yield, is demanding, but gives rise to results of absolute and unique quality, not forgetting the great temperature range, which can reach 25/30 degrees between day and night.
In addition, the different slopes on which the 133 districts are located give different productions due to their exposures and soils characterised by different flows over time.
For the whites, Carricante is the grape variety that dominates (in Etna DOC 60% minimum, in Etna DOC Superiore 80%), which arrived in Sicily at the time of the ancient Greeks.
This variety gives its best in these volcanic soils, even at heights where other vines cannot reach, directly acquiring its distinct minerality, which goes hand in hand with the vine's own acidity and sapidity, thus giving rise to long, deep, long-lived and elegant whites.
Moving on to the reds, the most important grape variety is certainly Nerello Mascalese, with its thick, late-ripening berries.
To the eye the colour is a tendentially light ruby red with garnet notes, high acidity, marked fruity scents in the first years that gradually integrate and leave room for minerality and spices, with results of rare power and fineness of taste and smell.