Terroir makes Character: Etna is an Italian wine DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) which covers the slopes of Mount Etna, with its 3330 meter (10,920 ft) the higest vulcano in Europe and most active volcano in the world and dominates the northeastern corner of Sicily. The Etna DOC was the very first in Sicily, created in August 1968 and followed nine months later by the famous Marsala.
The most commonly produced wine is the Etna Rosso, a red wine made predominantly from the Nerello Mascalese grape variety with up to a 20 percent addition of Nerello Cappuccio. Its white counterpart (Etna Bianco) is composed of at least 60 percent Carricante, backed up by Sicily’s most widely planted white grape, Cataratto, and a host of minor additions including Minella or Grecanico. There is also a Rosato (rosé) based on Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio.
Etna’s higher slopes are almost the only place on the island where temperatures fall sufficiently low. In fact, far from posing problems, the cooler temperatures are actually helpful for a longer growing season.
This is a crucial ingredient to obtain an excellent quality of the grapes. So Mount Etna continues to smolder away and excellent vines continue to flourish in its rich, dark volcanic soils.