As opposed to my other Etna Bianco, which is a field blend of five varieties, the “Vigne Niche” is 100% Carricante. I made this wine for the first time in 2007, after having had the fortune of tasting a 42 year old Carricante from the East side of the Etna. So beautiful it was, so vigorous and impeccable in its venerable age, that I was moved to produce something like it myself. I tried to imagine how a talented winemaker would have made such a wine half a century ago, with little or no technology. And sought to do the same. The “Vigne Niche” is the result. Then, the 2014 arrived. A truly majestic vintage: if not the best ever, this vintage can be considered for sure one of the best ever on the northern slopes of the Etna.
The stunning quality of the fruit together with older proprietary vines, have now allowed us to expand the range of our production with two new white Crus. In fact, to produce single vineyard Etna Bianco to match the reds is the fulfillment of a dream and of a strategy pursued in a very scientific way. The separate vinifications we do every year have given us all the elements to identify the varietal we wanted, the ideal ripeness, the best land and, in general, the best way of working towards what we’ve had in mind for such a long time.
The two new white Crus, Calderara Sottana and Santo Spirito, feature Carricante grapes from old and young vines, for Carricante is a rare commodity in a D.O.C. overwhelmingly devoted to reds, rarer still on Etna’s Northern slopes. In fact, Carricante vineyards answer for only 4% of the appellation. Both wines are barrel fermented and aged in large oak barrels. These are late blooming wine of unusual complexity and great longevity, which will reward you for your patience with a rare, noble beauty.