Vine-growing on Etna
Etna isn’t just a volcano. Etna is “A’Muntagna”, as those who live in harmony with it call it: an ecosystem made up of lots of components and microclimates, which vary not only according to the exposition, but also due to the composition of the soils. Cooler zones alternate with hotter areas. The soil, too, is the result of a series of strata that vary in line with the volcano’s history. In fact, the various lava flows have created soils with differences that have a substantial bearing on vine growing. Alongside these factors, there is also the element of altitude linked to the cultivation of vines, and this also varies from slope to slope. Our estate lies on the one that faces north. Making wine on the Muntagna means being in a world unto itself. The light, the thermal excursions, the harvest period: all are different from the rest of the island, and the rainfall and average temperatures also differ. The northern slope is the zone now recognized as being the one from which the great wines of Etna come, and where Nerello Mascalese has found the ideal cradle in which to prosper, grow and produce wines with great complexity.
Each vine is an individual: that is how we might summarize what it means to use the alberello training system. Indeed, with this growing method, the plants form part of a whole (i.e. the vineyard) and, as in a little village, each one contributes to the life of all the others. Each one is in symbiosis with the others, and a kind of self-regulation takes place that leads to overall equilibrium. Also, in this way, the vines are forced to go deep down with their roots in order to find all the nutritional substances that will then become part of their patrimony. This aspect provides natural added value for those who want to make high-quality wines. We also like to recall our links with history, which one is aware of in every corner of Sicily. The Ancient Greeks and later the Romans used these kinds of training systems. And still today in the Mediterranean – but also elsewhere – every vine reconnects us with thousands of years of history, a history that is unique compared to that of anywhere else in the world.