Etna is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, constantly resurfacing the mountain with an array of extrusive igneous rock. Giovanni Messina’s 3 hectares of native vines are rooted deep in the slopes of Monte Gorna with ancient, drystone terraces encircling the abandoned farmhouse. This is the Trecastagni subzone and Giovanni grew up here, watching the locals slowly abandon the vineyards with the gruelling manual labour and head to the much easier jobs found in Catania and in the endless string of hotels on the eastern coast.
Swimming against the tide, Giovanni decided to make the most of his family’s legacy and also the marked diurnal shifts found at these altitudes. From ancient, ungrafted bush vines subsisting on the meagre volcanic soils, the Carricante vineyard from which the Bianco di Monte originates is poor in nutrients but very rich in trace elements including both iron and copper. Fermentation is in stainless steel. Malo is blocked and the wine undergoes 15 months of elevage on the fine lees with simple batonnage.
This wine has glorious acidity lending a saline, mineral note alongside Amalfi lemon, apricot, baked apple and passion fruit. Together with his wife, Laura, Giovanni has fashioned a polished, silky, compelling expression of Etna terroir.
Etna Bianco DOC 'Bianco di Monte'