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The Sicilian wine produced on the slopes of Etna
THE LAND ETNEO, WITH ITS PECULIAR ASPECTS, IS A WINE AREA ALONE ITS KIND, DIFFERENT FROM THE CONTEXT OF THE ISLAND TO WHICH IT BELONGS.
The grape varieties of Etna
Italy has a viticultural heritage particularly large, consisting of many varieties still present in the vineyards of the entire peninsula.
The view sees the world in wine production wine made by using very few grape varieties, such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and a few others. Vines are easy to grow and high yield compared to the native vines which, however, are highly dependent on their environment of origin and, if transplanted into other areas, did not respond to the needs qualitative expectations .
This trend is causing a flattening of taste and a certain uniformity of wine production, which are similar even if they come from areas distant from each other.
Italy, and Sicily in particular, are rediscovering and re-evaluating the old grape varieties. In Sicily, this has already happened with the Nero d'Avola, and it is happening with the native vines of Etna: Nerello Mascalese , Nerello Cappuccio or Mantellato, Carricante, Minella and catarratto.
The wines of Mount Etna look like people: they resemble each other but different from each and every other, has physical traits, personality, age, character and different smells.
The differences depend on the wine grape varieties, soil type, age of the vines, the climate, the exposure of the vineyard, from the surrounding vegetation, the type of facility, by conduction, from the wine-making process and refining and to all those factors that combine to create wines that differ in the district, vintage, producer, although produced with the same type of grape.
The French have summarized these differences with a single term: "terroir".
The areas most valued by wine growing Etna are three: the hills of the southern slopes of the eastern hills and particularly suitable for the production of white wines fresh and flavorful , but also rosé and red wines with good body and the hills of the north slopes that are characterized by ability to produce well -structured and full-bodied red wines suitable for aging, with the Mediterranean climate, the mildest of up to 600 meters. and large temperature variations between day and night and up to over 1000 meters , long periods of sunshine and light, well-drained soil of volcanic nature , and sometimes tending to sandy clay and rich in minerals, conditions that distinguish Etna from the rest of Sicily viticultural, a niche of excellence for natural and easy adaptation of autochthonous and allochthonous terroir.
Thus, on Etna , have found their natural habitat , in addition to the native Nerellos , Carricante , Cataratto , Insolia , Muscat and Nero d'Avola, the grape varieties such as Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot, Viognier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay , now with hundred year old vineyards sapling and new vines on trellises, most conducted in a biological system and then treated with only copper and sulfur.