Giornale online di enogastronomia • Direttore Fabrizio Carrera
Il caso

And now on the Volcano nothing will be as before

29 Aprile 2017
etna etna

(Picture by

by Fabrizio Carrera

Immediately a certainty. The arrival of Angelo Gaja on Mount Etna (read here), news that we give our readers as exclusive, acquiring vineyards on the highest volcano in Europe, will provoke a beneficial shaking. 

First of all because the investment of one of the largest wine producers in the world seals, in case this would be needed, the importance of Etna as a top-ranking terroir in the international chessboard. Let's think about it: Gaja comes from Barbaresco, a capital with Barolo of those Langhe that are perceived as the Olympus of national enology and not only. And then he invested in past years in Montalcino and Bolgheri. The peaks of Tuscany wine. Now Mount Etna. An amazing poker where also this part of Sicily plays a role. Beautiful and unthinkable until some time ago. A honor for Sicily. And then he confounds the cards and points with Alberto Graci to the southwest side, the one so far snubbed and considered less important from the wine-growing point of view. It is a mistake to underestimate this part of Etna because there is probably the real reservoir of grapes throughout the whole volcano. Historically perhaps the part of the territory that first, centuries and centuries ago, began to host vineyards. Also because it is the most sunny side and is therefore considered the best area that allows the proper maturation of native vines. To date, it is the place where, for example, land costs less, almost half the price of the northern slope, 60 thousand euros per hectare compared to the 100/120 thousand of an excellent vineyard in the north. Alberto Graci has been great to have offered reliability and vision to Gaja.

Now everything will change. Because, as other effect of this joint venture between Passopisciaro and Barbaresco, Etna will undergo a kind of verticalization: the cost of land, the media attention, which is already very high, the prices of the grapes, everything will skim upwards. And we also hope that the southwest side will begin to receive the right attention (it is foreseeable that other wineries will arise) and a receptivity made of quality restaurants and hotels, as already happened in Linguaglossa and its surroundings.

And again, we dare to predict: other big producers will land on Etna. Other sparkling names. Where everyone will help raise the bar even further. And where everyone will make a race, as it should be, to produce more and better, unique, elegant and unrepeatable wines. One more consideration: you should not try to compare Etna with the rest of Sicily. At this time it is overwhelming in favor of the volcano and embarrassing for the rest of the island. But everything can turn out to be a flyer in favor of Sicily if it will be handled with wisdom and foresight, virtues not entirely unquestioned in our country.

This article was published on April 29 at 8.15 am.