Is there a more dynamic place to make wine in Italy than on Mount Etna in Sicily? Cantine Nicosia is based at the foot of Etna, on the east coast of Sicily, where Carmelo Nicosia, along with his sons Franceso and Graziano (5th generation), have developed their family business into one of the area’s most important wine producers. Their Trecastagni winery is where tradition meets ultra-modern technology.
Trecastagni, at the base of one of the extinguished craters dotting Mount Etna and at an altitude of around 700m, is home to the ancient vineyards of Monte Gorna, with their distinctive lava terraces. The vineyards have been completely restructured and replanted, focusing on the native varieties used for Etna DOC wines: Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio for the red, and Catarratto and Carricante for the whites. The extraordinary wealth of minerals found in Etna’s volcanic soils can be credited with the very rich flavour and unique character of the wines produced here.
Just a few miles from the southernmost tip of the Italian peninsula is the lively agricultural centre of Vittoria and the Contrada Bonincontro district – home to the large and impeccably groomed Cerasuolo di Vittoria vineyards planted exclusively with Nero d’Avola, Frappato and Syrah.
The Carricante and Catarratto grapes are grown on poor volcanic soil at Nicosia’s organically-farmed Contrada Monte Gorna vineyard, at an altitude of around 700m. The fruit is hand harvested well into October. The carefully selected grapes are cold macerated for 24 hours and, after destemming, are pressed softly. The juice is left to ferment at a controlled temperature of 15-18°C for approximately 20-25 days. The wine is bottled in February following a short maturation in tonneaux.
Pronounced and complex nose with savoury, nutty aromas and hints of fennel and white spice. Ripe and textured with lightly honeyed stone fruit, balanced by minerality and sappy acidity.
Ideal as an aperitif or accompaniment to seafood, sushi, fried fish and vegetable tempura.