22-27 May 2022
Wines Native to Volcanoes - Part 1. Etna Wine Tour
There are places that flip your whole world upside down. For me, Etna is one of those places. Tropics down in Catania, t-shirts, and shorts from March, and then snow and skiing groups ascending the mountain, actually, a volcano. Petrified lava all along the driveway, plots covered with lava, then bulldozers breaking down the stones on the next plot to make it suitable for agriculture again. People building their life on a mountain that can explode at any time. And they've been doing it countless times and will continue to do so, because IDDA, the local name for Mt. Etna, is not a threat, but a powerful lady that they look up to with affection and respect.
So what kind of wines would you expect to come from a vineyard at 1000 meters above sea level? From a vineyard that doesn't have "normal" soil, but rather a pumice - black volcanic sand, and lots of stones with such a unique content list mixed into the hot lava flow
To answer this question we will visit 4 wineries at the highest altitudes suitable for winemaking, we will see old, more than a hundred years old vines, that observed not only change of centuries, owners, but also a number of explosions on IDDA. These vines are ungrafted, they're planted before the deadly for European viticulture phylloxera broke out, these vines (protected by the terroir of Etna) were not affected by the disease that had no mercy in most of Europe.
#wineryvisits #cookingworkshop #Etnahike #horseriding #oliveoiltasting #boattour #taormina #undergrounddining
During the Etna wine tour, we'll get even closer than vines to the hot craters of Etna. We'll start with vineyards at 700 meters altitude and get as high as the Etna DOC permits as, up to 1100 meters. We'll stay at an authentic Sicilian villa that dates back to 14th century when it used to be a Benedictine friary. Some of the rooms were converted from the old grape stomping facilities. We'll eat delicious homemade food by a local chef (no tourist trap pizza here :) and even cook a meal or two together to take not only wines but also recipes back home.
We'll visit four wineries to taste the best of Carricante, Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Capuccio. But since it's Italy we must spare some time for enjoying la dolce vita - we'll have a sunset horseback ride on the slopes of Etna, do an olive oil tasting, get out to Taormina for a boat ride and sightseeing.
We'll spare some time for the most important highlight of the region - the Etna National Park, and get even higher than the vines grow on a
off-road driving tour on jeeps, and then during a hike to the craters of Etna with a professional volcanologist guide.
Expect unexpected. Some of the wineries on our route are literally non-existent on maps, so some off-road driving will be necessary (alternatively, you might want to switch to donkey-back:)
This tour is for healthy and fit wine lovers, that don't mind to get their shoes dirty in volcanic pumice and are open to get on a hike even on a wine tour.
If in doubt - contact before booking!