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Etna Rosso

For centuries, lava eruptions have followed one another from the eye of the great volcano, contributing to the identification of a unique territory. From the terraces built on its slopes up to hundreds of metres above sea level, a wine of great distinction is produced: Etna Rosso. It is made from native red vines, Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, cultivated using the alberello system on volcanic soil. A terroir of rare beauty, which, combined with the expertise of modern producers, has made it possible to raise this type of wine to the top level of the great Italian reds. Despite its ancient origins, its success is recent and growing. Very often aged in barrels, it is distinguished by its warm and robust profile, typical and intense, like the great volcano from which it springs.

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For centuries, lava eruptions have followed one another from the eye of the great volcano, contributing to the identification of a unique territory. From the terraces built on its slopes up to hundreds of metres above sea level, a wine of great distinction is produced: Etna Rosso. It is made from native red vines, Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, cultivated using the alberello system on volcanic soil. A terroir of rare beauty, which, combined with the expertise of modern producers, has made it possible to raise this type of wine to the top level of the great Italian reds. Despite its ancient origins, its success is recent and growing. Very often aged in barrels, it is distinguished by its warm and robust profile, typical and intense, like the great volcano from which it springs.

The History of Etna Rosso

Etna Rosso wine is produced in the Etnean territories in the province of Catania and its origins date back to the Greek colonisation of Sicily, when the first evidence of agricultural communities growing grapes appeared. In the centuries that followed, we have no valid documents able to establish the history and evolution of Sicilian wine and how it reached the slopes of the volcano.

The paper De Naturali Vinorum Historia, published in 1596 by Andrea Bacci, is the first to refer to the sweetness of the products of Catania and how the volcano influenced their history. At the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, mention is made of the county of Mascali, which had a very extensive territory, part of which was under vine, stretching from the Messina area to the northern slopes. It is precisely in this period that the first attestations of the historic Nerello Mascalese vine can be found. It was not until the early 1800s that the Etna grape began to be revalued, and its vine-growing area expanded. However, history had to come to terms with the eruptions of the volcano, which, together with the difficulty of growing vines in steep and hostile terrain, made production unsteady and fluctuating. Thus terracing was born as a first remedy to the obstacles caused by the conformation of the land. But this was not enough, because the following years saw the invasive phenomenon of phylloxera, which fortunately did not reach Etna, thanks to the morphology of its soil, but destroyed all the surrounding vines, causing production in the rest of Sicily to fall drastically.

With the refinement of techniques, the professionalism of great producers and the birth of competent wineries, this type of wine acquired great qualitative value, becoming Etna Rosso DOC, a recognition obtained on the 11th of August 1968. Nowadays it is one of the most famous, appreciated and modern Italian expressions.



Regulations

Etna DOC Rosso is among the oldest denominations in Italy and was the first to be recognised in Sicily in 1968. Revised and reissued in recent years, the regulations for this red wine allow production from the volcano's symbolic vine: Nerello Mascalese used at a minimum of 80%, which can be integrated with Nerello Cappuccio up to 20% and other local vines, provided they do not exceed 10%. Its cultivation area extends over 20 municipalities in the province of Catania and is characterised by the presence of 133 contrade, 46 of which are in the famous municipality of Castiglione di Sicilia. Among the most well-known are the northern districts: Feudo di Mezzo, Santo Spirito and Rampante in Castiglione and San Lorenzo in Randazzo. Of great value in this area is the Pietradolce Etna Rosso, which grows its vines in these very areas, giving a nectar of great value.

The regulations do not specify the rules for the ageing process, which can thus take place, depending on the producer's style, in wooden barrels, steel containers, traditional cement tanks or even terracotta amphorae. However, it allows the mention of "Riserva" if aged for at least 4 years, of which at least 12 months in wood.



Organoleptic Characteristics and Pairings

Etna DOC Rosso is mainly cultivated on the northern side of the volcano because of its milder climate and excellent temperature range. It is produced from Nerello Mascalese, a vine of pure elegance and finesse that for its characteristics has often been compared to Pinot Noir, to the point that some authors have dubbed it the "Burgundy of the Mediterranean". The colours are subtle and vary from darker garnet shades to ruby red depending on the duration and type of ageing. The aromatic range varies, but always retains the distinctive traits of class and olfactory delicacy. The fruity profile is almost always the most tangible and consists of small red fruits such as currants, wild blackberries and cherries. Underbrush, violets, aromatic spices, graphite, cocoa and liquorice are other noticeable notes that contribute to enriching even the most demanding sense of smell. The soils, the result of thousands of years of lava eruptions, give delicate and pleasant mineral notes, as does the proximity of the sea, which gives it lovely marine scents.

In recent years, Etna Rosso DOC has been experiencing a period of great rediscovery and appreciation, also due to its pairing with local dishes. It goes perfectly with traditional Sicilian dishes, such as arancini with meat sauce, Messina-style rolls, Palermo-style brociolone and the traditional caponata. It also goes well with mature cheeses, local cured meats and first courses such as pasta alla norma and meat ravioli with almonds, but also with fine fillet steaks and grilled meats.

For lovers of wine and good food on Callmewine you will find a wide selection of great Sicilian wines for sale online. Buy Etna Rosso at the best price and discover all its characteristics on Callmewine's online wine shop.