Certified Organic – Mt Etna, Sicily, Italy
Etna, overlooking the eastern coast of Sicily, is an almost mythical wine region where vineyards climb the sides of Europe’s largest and most active volcano. A lunar landscape where volcanic eruptions have resulted in 46 types of lava-based soils, from stone to sand to ash. Vines here can be over 100 years old, on original rootstock, because the black soil is resistant to the phylloxera root pest.
Since the late 1980s, wine pioneers, many Sicilians returning to their roots, have revolutionised Etna’s reputation. Rather than rip up indigenous varietals, these producers believe in the untapped potential of these lesser-known grapes. Needless to say, Etna is experiencing a renaissance in winemaking. Terra Costantino’s vineyards climb the southeastern slope of Mount Etna at Contrada Blandano, in the territory of Viagrande, the heart of the Etna DOC zone. From here, you can see the sea and taste the windblown tang of salt in the air. On this single 10 hectare plot, Terra Costantino grows exclusively native Etna varieties according to Certified Organic practices: white-skinned Carricante and Catarrato, and red-skinned Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. In the cellar, ancient presses sit beside contemporary vinification equipment. We couldn’t be more excited by Terra Costantino. These are elegant, honest wines with character and a true sense of an amazing place.