Etna is a volcano that has always offered unique and irreplaceable products. We have already shown you characteristics and benefits of prickly pear, but there are other fruits that find their environment in the territory of Etna. For example the different varieties of grapes, from which are produced fine wines known and apprecieted not only in Sicily.
Etna in fact, thanks to its climate (mountain and Mediterranean at the same time) and its geological composition, claims a very ancient winemaking tradition, a wide and irreplaceable heritage.
The vines grown on the slopes of Etna belong to the famous “Nerello” variety, to which belong Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio.
Nerello Mascalese is the main native vine of Etna; it owes its name to the municipality of Mascali, a town close to Mount Etna where it has been for at least four centuries, becoming the most widespread vine in the province of Catania, the second most planted variety after Nero d’Avola. This wine has a ruby red colour, a spicy aroma and a flavour with an aroma of liquorice.
Nerello Cappuccio owes its name to the particular conformation of the plant, a cap. There are no certain data opn its origin, but most likely this type of grape was grown in the area of Catania several hundred years ago, and then spread to Calabria even if in recent decades has risked extinction.
This wine is called with different dialectal names: Nerello Mantellato, Niuru Cappucciu, Niureddu Cappuccio, Mantiddatu Niuru, are some examples. The wine that is produced from this type of grape has a ruby red color with shades of purple, a scent of red fruits and a dry flavor. It goes well with red meat and mature cheeses.
Carricante (in dialect “U Carricanti”) is also an ancient grape variety native to Etna. Untile the 1950s it was the most widespread white grape variety in the province of Catania. It has always been exclusively cultivated at the base of the volcano on its eastern side. The Carricante grapes produce a strow yellow wine with an intense and delicate aroma, and a dry aromatic taste, which goes well with fish dishes.
Minnella is a native vine that was discovered in the oldest vineyards of Etna. Its name derives from the word “minna”, breast in Sicilian dialect, for the shape of the grape that recalls the breast of women. In dialect is also called “Minnedda” or “Minnedda Janca” where janca stands for white.
It is cultivated on the slopes of Etna, on the eastern side, precisely in the area of Monte Serra at an altitude of 500 meters above sea level in the territory of the municipality of Viagrande. The Minnella grape produces a white wine that goes well with fish dishes and has a strow yellow colour, a fruity aroma and a fresh flavour.
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