Vino di Anna Frequently Asked Questions
- Who are natural wine producers in Sicily?
Sicily is seeing an increase in the production of natural wines and among them are the owners of Vino di Anna, Anna Martens and Eric Narioo, Davide Bentivegna (Etnella, Presa), Aldo Viola (Alcamo), Nino Barraco (Marsala) and newcomer, Sonia Gambino (Gustinella, Maletto).
- What are the principal grape varieties grown on Mt Etna?
The key indigenous black grape varieties grown on Mt Etna are: Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio or Mantellato. The indigenous white grape varieties are: Carricante and Minnella Bianca.
- What is a Palmento?
An Etneo Palmento is an ancient winemaking building made of lava stone, built right in the vineyards, on the slopes of Mt Etna. Many are several hundred years old. A key design feature of the structure is its use of gravity to circulate the grapes, pomace and fermenting grape must during the vinification process.
See Vino di Anna Palmento Rosso
- What is a Contrada?
A contrada is a descriptor used on Mt Etna to identify the area where vineyards are located. Examples include Contrada Rampante, Contrade Pirao, Contrada Nave.
- What is a Qvevri?
Qvevri are large egg shaped clay vessels, with a narrow pointed bottom and a wide mouth at the top that originate in Georgia. They are designed to be buried and are used for the fermentation, storage and ageing of wine.
- What is natural wine?
“Natural wine” is a term given to a wine that is made from organic grapes, fermented spontaneously by indigenous yeasts, to which no additives such as enzymes, tannins, fermenting adds, or synthetic fining agents are added. Small quantities of sulfur dioxide can be used in their production.
- How old are the vines on Mt Etna?
Until recently, the average age of vines on Mt Etna was between 40 – 80 years old with some pre-phylloxera vines still in production. The past 5 years has seen an explosion of new plantings.
- How many hectares of vineyards are there today on Mt Etna?
Today, on Mt Etna there are approximately 5,000 hectares of vines. In the early 1900’s there was close to 90,000 hectares planted.
- What is a “sciara” and which are the most important on Mt Etna?
A “sciara” is a lava flow. Some of the most famous and destructive lava flows are the lava flow of 1614-1624, the flow of 1928, the eruptions of 1983 and 1985, the eruption of 1991-1993 and the last recent eruptions of 2001 and 2002.
- When is the grape harvest on Mt Etna?
The grape harvest usually starts in the middle of September and continues into the first three weeks of October. Some producers with very high altitude vineyards will even finish picking at the end of October, if the climatic conditions allow.
- What varieties of olives are grown on Mt Etna?
On Mt Etna is possible to find many different varieties of olives. The most famous and common is Nocellara Etnea. Others are: Randazzese, Moresca, Olivo di Castiglione, Ogliarola Messinese and Tonda Iblea.
See our olives
- What type of bees are found on Mt Etna and what sort of honey do they make?
The most common bee from which honey is collected on Mt Etna is the Sicilian black bee,
The honey is usually obtained twice a year; mid-spring, where it will be delicate, originating from wildflowers to mid-summer, where it originates from chestnut trees, being richer and fuller flavor.
- How many wines does the wine estate “Vino di Anna” produce?
Vino di Anna currently produces twelve different wines in any given year; 3 white wines, one rosato and 8 red wines.
- Where is the wine domain “Vino di Anna” located?
- In what contrade are the vineyards of “Vino di Anna” located?
The vineyards of “Vino di Anna” are located in: Contrada Crasà, Contrada Rampante, Contrada Pirao, Contrada Filici, Contrada Nave and Contrada Tartaraci.
- What is the difference between the two red wines: Palmento Rosso and Palmentino Rosso?
Palmento Rosso is made from a field blend of indigenous Etnean grapes that are 100% vinified in the Etnean Palmento for the first 5-7 days. The fermenting must is then pressed and divided between stainless steel, old wood and qvevri to finish fermentation and undergo malolactic fermentation. It is always vibrant crimson in colour, light to medium body with a juicy, fresh tannin structure.
Palmentino Rosso is a blend of cuvees, which vary from year to year. A component of the blend is often from old, bush vines that have fermented 100% in georgian qvevri, another from old vines that have aged in wooden casks. At least 20% of the blend will have also been made in our Etnean Palmento. The resulting wine is more medium bodied than Palmento Rosso, with flavours of red cherries and savoury undertones.
- What are the soils of Mt Etna like?
The mountain’s soils are coarse, rocky, fast draining, nutrient poor and mineral rich, especially in iron, copper, phosphorus and magnesium. The consist of a mix of decomposed lava, ash and sand.