Etna Bianco Le Vigne Niche Santo Spirito 2022 Tenuta delle Terre Nere
Unlike Etna Bianco DOC, which is composed of a blend of five white grapes, the “Vigne Niche” selection is Carricante only.
“I decided to produce it in 2007 after having the good fortune to taste a 42-year-old Carricante on two different occasions. It turned out to be so beautiful this wine, so flawless and vigorous despite its venerable age, that I was moved to try to produce something similar. I tried to imagine how an obviously talented winemaker had produced such a wine, moreover virtually without any technological help. And I tried to imitate what I had imagined. The ‘Vigne Niche’ selection is the result.” Marco de Grazia
Then came 2014. An important vintage: seven years earlier we had planted carricante vines on the northern slope, historically dedicated exclusively to big reds. The great quality of the grapes, combined with the vigorous age of the vines, made it possible to broaden the spectrum of taste with the production of two Cru whites-an opportunity that happened at a most auspicious time, given the success of the 2013 Cuvée delle Vigne Niche.
After all, just as with the reds, getting to the production of the Cru of the white is the fulfillment of a dream, pursued, however, in a scientific way: from separate vinification to understanding which grapes were appropriate, which soil and what work was needed to get to the long-awaited production.
The two Cru whites from the North zone, named with the Contrade of origin, respectively Calderara Sottana and Santo Spirito, are composed of Carricante from old and young vines, since finding excellent Carricante in an area of the DOC mainly dedicated to reds is not easy.
The wines are fermented and aged in 10-hectoliter barrels. These are wines whose rare complexity and structure blossom beautifully over time. Of great longevity, they will reward your patience with a beauty of unusual nobility.
Unlike Calderara Sottana, this wine has a more open and exuberant nose-due to the generosity of the many, many, volcanic ash present in the Contrada. If the Calderara Sottana is a tenor, the Santo Spirito is more of a soprano: the freshness is more pronounced, as is the spring-like, floral and rich expression of its very fine nature.
Name: Etna Bianco D.O.C.
Production area: contrada Santo Spirito, municipality of Castiglione di Sicilia (Catania)
Production: 60 quintals per hectare.
Soil:volcanic, deep, predominantly volcanic ash, very loose and dark.
Exposure:north slope of Etna, 700 to 750 meters above sea level.
Age of vineyards:40 to 100 years old.
Annual production:6,000 bottles.