Thanks to its unique characteristics and the work of visionary winemakers, the area around the volcano has become the destination of choice for wine lovers and gourmands.
If the wines of Etna, in recent years, have established themselves globally among specialists in the sector it is thanks to the unique terroir of the volcano, a combination of elements - microclimate, soil, vines and human intervention - that have transformed this area in a territory with a strong enological vocation.
A territory with a unique microclimate generated by extreme thermal excursions. If the latitude is African - Catania is at the same latitude as the northern tip of Tunisia - the altitude is alpine: the vine on Etna, which with its 3,340m asl is the highest active volcano in Europe, is grown up to 1,300 meters above sea level. In a limited geographical area, therefore, Mediterranean and mountain climates coexist. And if in winter, especially on the north side, temperatures can drop even below zero, in summer they can exceed 40 ° C, with a day-night excursion that reaches 30 ° C.
Then there is the soil . On the flanks of Etna, which has been mumbling continuously for at least 2,700 years, craters, caves and fissures have been created, thick layers of ashes and lapilli have been deposited, and thousands of lava flows have lengthened that have enriched this soil - on average dry and sandy and with very high draining capacity - of abundant quantities of minerals, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium.
If connoisseurs think more and more in terms of districts and parcels it is because, even at a distance of a few meters, the accentuated differences in humidity, temperature, exposure and soil, determine wines that are equally different in character and organoleptic quality.
On the flanks of the Muntagna - as the Sicilians call it - almost exclusively native vines are grown, another element of uniqueness of this terroir . Vines that have been rediscovered and enhanced by visionary winemakers: from Nerello Mascalese, prince of native reds that expresses itself best when the wine is aged for many years, to Nerello Cappuccio that accompanies in small percentages Nerello Mascalese in Etna DOC to give it color . King of the native white grape varieties is Carricante , a vine capable of aging well and, for this reason, often associated with Alsatian rieslings. In smaller quantities, Cataratto, Grecanico Dorato, Coda di Volpe and Minnella are also bred.
Terroir is all this, but it is also - and above all - culture : techniques, traditions and knowledge that shape a territory and define its identity. Here, over the centuries, man has been able to draw unmistakable landscapes: the hills planted with sapling vines, the dry stone walls to terrace the steep and rocky sides of the volcano, and the palmenti, buildings that once housed the basins for pressing and the fermentation of musts and which today have been transformed into accommodation facilities for wine lovers and gourmands.
Wine is one of the secrets of the success of this territory, but it is not the only one. The area is a site of universal historical, scientific and cultural interest, so much so that, in 2013, Unesco included the Etna Park, which covers an area of over 19,000 hectares, in one of the heritage sites of Humanity . A heritage of places, knowledge, traditions and crafts. And biodiversity, which we at Boniviri, every day, are committed to safeguarding and enhancing with our sustainable and respectful agriculture project.
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