Italy, Etna

Italy has some of the oldest wine production methods in the world and almost every part of the country is planted under vine. From the Alps in the north to the very southernmost parts of Sicily where Africa is almost in sight, wine is successfully cultivated. In addition to the latitude covered, Italy's many mountains and hills provide a plethora of altitudes for grape growing in various soils and micro-climates. The extensive coastlines along the peninsula that is Italy provide maritime climates for the coastal wine-growing areas. Over 350 grape varieties are 'authorised' in Italy, though up to 550 varieties are thought to be grown.

The classification system of Italian wines has four classes, with the intention of defining a wine's origin a quality. Two of these classes are table wines, whilst DOC and DOCG fall under the EU quality wine produced in a specific region category. Vino da Tavola (VDT) means that the wine comes from Italy. Most of these wines are generally basic table wines that are consumed domestically. Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) denotes a more specific region within Italy, and the resultant will be of higher quality than simple table wines, but won't conform to the rules required for higher certification. Both Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) are regionally more specific than IGT, and have stricter rules regarding the grape varieties grown, yields per hectare, minimum alcohol levels and so on. The major difference between DOC and DOCG is that the latter has to undergo a blind-tasting session to ensure the highest quality is achieved. Italy has 32 DOCG appelations, 311 DOC appelations and 120 IGT zones.

Key regions include Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Veneto, Sicily and Sardinia. Common white varieties grown are Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Vermentino, Verdicchio, Fiano and Moscato. The red varieties grown the most are Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Nero d'Avola and Corvina.
The wine region of Etna is located in the northeastern province of Catania, Sicily. It is also located near the biggest active volcano in Europe Mt Etna. According to ancient Greek mythology, homegrown wine of this area was said to have enchanting powers for healing, relaxation and amusement. Situated in the northern, southern and eastern slopes of the volcano, at an altitude of 450 to 1100 above sea level, the wines produced from this area creates a harmonious blend of tastes like no other which makes it no surprise that the region of Etna has been receiving a lot of keen attention of wine critics and wine lovers over the past few years. Certain examples are incredible wines, that could come from no other place than the sandy, volcanic (and thus very fertile) soils around the volcano. The Etna DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) was first established in 1968, making it the first region in Sicily to receive the honor.

The climate of this volcanic region is with almost no rainfall in the summer but can be quite wet during the winter and autumn periods. The soil of Etna is volcanic, made up of lava, ashes and sand. This helps provide ample amounts of minerals and nutrients in the soils such as iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and others. The ruby colored red wines from this region are mostly blends of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio and the whites are produced from Carricante and Catarratto grapes.
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  1. Tornatore Mt Etna Bianco 2018
    Light straw yellow with intense green reflections. Pleasant hints of grapefruit, white peach and herbs, mark the nose of this wine which shows its true identity on the palate with a pleasant flavor and freshness complemented by an extraordinary minerality; ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  2. Azienda Agricola Sofia 'Gioacchino' Etna Bianco 2019
    90% Carricante & 10% Catarratto. Grown on Volcanic Soils from the Contrada "Piano dei Daini" from 60 year old vines at 700 metres elevation. This wine is produced with grapes harvested in a 60 years old alberello vineyard in Contrada Piano dei Daini, in Solicchiata in ... Learn More
  3. Azienda Agricola Sofia 'Gioacchino' Etna Rosso 2018
    Only 6,000 bottles are produced of this wine. This wine is the most alluring combination of styles that is reminiscent of both Pinot Noir & Nebbiolo at once. This wine is produced with grapes harvested in different vineyards; from a 60 years old ... Learn More
  4. Azienda Agricola Sofia Contrada 'Piano dei Daini' Etna Rosso 2018
    Natural and Organic in production, from 700 metres above sea level. This wine is produced with grapes harvested from a 65 years old Alberello vineyard, in Contrada Piano dei Daini in Solicchiata in the territory of Castiglione di Sicilia on the northern ... Learn More
  5. Giovanni Rosso Etna Rosso Dop 2016
    AROMA Fine and deep, introduced by Mediterranean citrusy sensations, followed by violet, bergamot, wet stones, forest leaves and elegant hints of white pepper. PALATE Juicy; progressive delicate tannins and vibrant acidity. Neat and savoury finish. ... Learn More
    Huon Hooke
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