Mount Etna, Italy
A superbly balanced Nerello Mascalese red with juicy notes of cherry and spice, along with a particular wisp of smoke. The grapes grow on the slopes of an active volcano, giving the wine an elegant minerality.
Whats the Occasion
- Nerello Mascalese
Pizza with spicy sausage, Pepper crusted beef loin, Anything on the charcoal BBQ
15 minutes before serving, just to acclimate
Up to 4 years
- Red Fruit
When you smell Etna Rosso, your senses will be met with a superbly balanced Nerello Mascalese, where notes of forest fruit and black cherry, dance with spice and dried herbs along a particular wisp of volcanic ash. A hint of violet and balsamique can be noticed.
When you taste Etna Rosso, you’ll encounter a dry and firm red wine combining elegance with structure. Even if the intriguing aromatic complexity rushes to take centerstage the vibrant tannins are hard to miss. And while you take a moment to put thoughts into words, the wine’s delicious acidity brings forth the next sip. A smoky, mineral finish provides the undertone for the whole experience.
Mount Etna, Italy
The grapes that go into Etna Rosso grow in a very unusual place - the slopes of Mount Etna, an active volcano in Sicily. The microclimates here vary from acre to acre, and even from day to day, depending on the current mood of the volcano. The hot Sicilian sunshine is tempered by the cooling effect of the high altitude, and the volcanic subsoils depend largely on the ebbs and flows of the lava eruptions. The grapes grown here possess something of the characteristics of the volcano itself: an exciting spiciness, a fiery elegance, and a disdain for predictability.
A winery in the clouds
The Contrada Arcurìa covers about 25 hectares of land in Passopisciaro, on the northern slopes of Mount Etna, averaging around 650 metres above sea level. 18 of these hectares are planted with vines, of which 15are dedicated to the Nerello Mascalese variety, 1.5 to Carricante, and 1 to Catarratto - Alberto Graci only cultivates grapes that are native to the region. The older vines are laid out in a tree nursery with an impressive density of 10,000 plants per hectare.
Expressing the character of the volcano
Etna Rosso is traditionally vinified, with spontaneous fermentation in a cement tank, and skin-contact maceration for about thirty days. Following this, it undergoes malolactic fermentation, and is then aged in cement tanks for eighteen months. The agricultural techniques are ecological, with the use of no pesticides and herbicides. Intervention is minimal, retaining the natural balances of the volcanic earth and all the unique characteristics it lends to the vines.
The Brains Behind It
Back to his roots
Graci was created by Alberto Graci, the son of a Sicilian farmer. Alberto became a successful investment banker at a young age, living the corporate life in Milan. His Sicilian roots called him back home. In 2004 he came back to Sicily following the death of his grandfather, and was fascinated by the volcanic vineyards he discovered while dealing with his grandfather’s estate. Against all good advice, he began acquiring his own vineyards in a project of folly, at a time when nobody believed in the capacity of the earth on the snowy, smoking volcano. Today, his estate is one of the largest in the region, and his wines are recognised for their originality, daring, and incomparable verve.