95% Carricante and 5% Minnella, a variety indigenous to Sicily where it is grown in the foothills of Mount Etna. The grapes come from both young and 30 year old vines planted in Contrada Caselle in Milo, a town on the east face of Mt. Etna – about 800 meters (2625 feet) above sea level. This is the coolest growing area on Etna, perfect for white wines. The grapes are harvested mid-October and gently whole cluster pressed. Because of Carricante’s high acidity, the grapes are fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks (Foti avoids barrels as they emphasize the grape’s high acidity) and the wine goes through partial malolactic fermentation. Light filtration at bottling. Only small doses of sulfites are added during vinification and at bottling. The wine has a greenish hue, not from the skins but the natural color of the juice. 12.5% alcohol.
About the Producer
Rinazzu is our new exciting project with Salvo Foti. Each wine is exclusively produced from indigenous grape varieties, specific to the Etna vineyard. The name "rinazzu" refers to the volcanic ash that periodically rains from Etna onto local villages. These "showers" can last hours or days; they are an intrinsic part of life on the mountain, creating and nourishing the unique terroir of Etna. The label depicts the famous volcano, with its smoke becoming a grape bunch.
With a single mind, Salvo made it his mission to preserve the great Alberello (“little tree”) trained vines of Etna - trained up on stakes (Salvo favors chestnut posts), as in ancient Greece, and planted on stone terraces. The Romans taught the Siciliani to plant these stakes in a pattern of 5 called a Quincunx. Salvo has also been a big promoter of the old wineries called Palmento; these gravity-fed stone structures were outlawed for winemaking by the EU but winemakers like Salvo are keeping this ancient tradition alive. Salvo isn’t just an academic preservationist. He has been making wines under his own label and consulting with the top wineries of Etna for years, in many instances being the founding winemaker. Leader of the natural wine movement in Etna, Salvo is now recognized for the fabulous quality and expression of the wines he produces. He is helped by his son Simone, who joined him after finishing school in Beaune.
Farming practices: organic. The vineyard is cultivated by hand and with natural products. Cultivation and vinification are carried out according to the lunar phases.
Return to the future. The volcano’s vineyards, island model - Gambero Rosso, October 2016