2016 – Sicily
Etna & the vineyards of Sicily
Once again I got charmed by the beauty of this island, at the same time a land with multi millenary culture, and a symbol of a kind of wild force able to easily restore the men’s position in creation.
Each lava stream produced by the Monjibeddu, called “Sciara” in local dialect, shows its own identity, softer or harder structures, it also differs from others in mineral composition, at times still recent and abrupt or older and tamed by the weather. The stratification and interaction among all these layers along with climate and specific topography make up for fertile and drained soils that have been an ideal accommodation for vines since more than three thousand years.
The modern vision of Etna vineyard, as it is set since the spledid recovery of the 1990s, sees the Nerello Mascalese as red grape and Carricante in white dominating the stage. Two “terroir-driven” varieties capable of reflecting the various planting conditions and identity of each cru or “contrada”.
We explored the land of Carricante in the northeast portion of the volcano, the Valle del Bove, cone of dejection powered continuously by effusive lava flows. We find the vine downhill till about 1000 meters on the sea level, tradionally trained in “alberello” (bush vine), supported by a single stove of local chestnut wood.
After a few days in this amazing scenario, even before leaving, I already feel a certain nostalgy … it’s so easy letting this independent land, its people, its taste come through your-self…Vines who share the slopes with chestnuts, the blooming of those bright yellow gorse flowers filled with their dense scent waving you back in time to an era that is no longer…
On the subject some lines from Giovanni Pascoli:
“Il fiore della ginestra pareva qua attendere nel crepuscolo il piede d’un profeta, d’un apostolo, d’un Dio lontano;
là avanti la fiamma inestinguibile della natura distruggitrice, aspettare paziente la sua fine mortale. Ma ne usciva il medesimo profumo…”