ANTICHI VINAI

Terroir

Did you know that the wine produced on Etna has been famous in Sicily ever since it was a Greek colony (729 B.C.)?

«We sailed thence, in much distress, and came to the land of the violent and lawless Cyclops, who neither plant nor plough but trust in the gods, and live on the wheat, barley and grapes that grow without sowing or ploughing, and their wild vines yield them wine from great bunches, which Zeus’ rain makes grow.»

Homer’s Odyssey, IX, 105-110.

This matters because the experience accumulated down the years is inherited by those – like us – who have cultivated this land for over a century, producing wine that harmoniously unites physical and chemical elements with anthropological and cultural ones.

This unique distinction led to the award of the first production area DOC in Sicily in 1968 – one of the first in Italy – to twenty municipalities at the foot of the Volcano.

A unique terroir

The soil, with its thousands of millennia-old stratifications and discontinuous sedimentation of volcanic ash and lapilli (little stones), is an excellent partner, giving character and flavour to the wine.

Each vine has its own story and individual characteristics. Very few non-native vines are planted in this richly traditional region.

Etna’s terroir is uniquely complex; you won’t find it anywhere else.

You will see it for yourself when you come and visit us. We can’t wait to meet you!

“Heroic” viticulture

That is how work on our land is described, due to the characteristic steep terraces surrounded by dry-stone walls that prevent us from using machinery for vineyard operations.

Nature – changeable and unpredictable – has an enormous influence on the crop.

The vines grow at altitudes between 400 and 1000 metres above sea level, which is unique in DOC production worldwide. In a zone where Mediterranean and mountain climates meet, the vines survive a temperature range varying by as much as 30˚ on summer nights.

This climatic characteristic makes Etna an island within the island of Sicily, following its own rules for the harvest and for the care of grapes that are often threatened by rain and hail.

Despite these challenges, the people have never given up and wine companies continue to be created and to improve the quality of DOC Etna with their commitment and passion.