Etna is certainly one of the most interesting areas on the world wine scene. Its viticulture has a thousand-year history and still retains features that are unique: the terracing, delimited by dry stone walls, allow the winemaker to take advantage of the varying soil elevations; the traditional Alberello training system guarantees greater ventilation and insolation of the plants.


Etna enjoys an exclusive ampelographic heritage which – alongside Nerello Mascalese – includes other autochthonous varieties such as Carricante, Minnella and Nerello Cappuccio, grown only on the volcano slopes.

Following the phylloxera epidemic, in the late 1800s, which disrupted European viticulture, the few remaining winemakers were forced to replace the dead plants with the first available vine shoots. As a result, it is not uncommon to find vineyards in which stumps of different varieties coexist alongside old un-grafted vines.


The variety of microclimates present on the volcano is one of the most fascinating peculiarities of this territory. If in general it is possible to identify typical features of mountain climates, it is true that the latitude ensures a greater sun intensity and duration, which leads to a purely Mediterranean matrix.

Profoundly diversifying factors are altitude and exposure: the north side benefits from the protection of the Nebrodi Mountains and enjoys a drier climate given its greater insolation; the east and south-east sides, on the other hand, overlook the sea and are therefore characterized by additional cloudiness, rainfall and less sunshine.


Profound differences can also be found in the soils, as measured by composition and texture. The volcanic sands are more or less fine, the presence of a calcium is variable and iron content and alkalinity vary between one lava flow and another.

The volcano’s continuous activity and consequent fallout of ashes and lapilli ensure ongoing natural fertilization in the medium and long term.