MT. ETNA IS EUROPE’S LARGEST VOLCANO
On Mt. Etna we can define three large elective areas for the grape-growing and winemaking. The first is that between 400 and 900 m above sea level along the Eastern slopes, the second is located between 500 and 800 meters above sea level along the Northern slopes, and the third between 600 and 1000 m above sea level on the Southern side of the volcano
On Mt. Etna, there are substantial climatic differences, not only compared to the rest of Sicily, but also between one area and another of the Volcano. This is due to the shape of the mountain on a truncated cone surface and its proximity to the sea.
Consequently, this area is defined by a high environmental and microclimatic variability, within a few kilometres you can encounter naturalistic and agricultural landscapes ranging from sub-tropical to alpine.
The environmental variability is also conditioned by the unique position of Etna: altitude and exposure deeply influence the slopes, generating unique microclimates for grape growing. The various lava flows, over the centuries, have created soils characterized by a strong paedogenetic variability: this diversity in the soil is often more frequent vertically than horizontally. The paedo-climate, exposure, altitude, and volcanic soil of Mt. Etna determine considerable differences in wine production, even within the same contrada (district), that can be identified in wine produced.
“I Vigneri: terroir, people and vines between tradition and research.”
– Salvo Foti