Etna is arguably the “hottest” wine appellation in Italy right now and the wines made there from vineyards on the slopes of Europe’s tallest active volcano have been likened to the greats of Barolo and Burgundy. Join us for a conversation with Alberto Tasca, the 7th generation leader of the Tasca d’Almerita family of wineries as he discusses their newest endeavor on Mt. Etna, Tenuta Tascante, where they own and sustainably farm three of the great Crus of Etna – Pianodario, Rampante and Sciaranuova.
About the winery: Sicily has been well known as a major source of Italian wine forever, but until relatively recently it was viewed as a producer of bulk wines for export or cheap everyday wines. With the revolution in quality that has taken place on the island in the past decade, though, that reputation has been turned on its head, and Sicilian wines are being sought out by wine buyers and consumers - and none more so than the wines of Etna. The Tasca d'Almerita family, one of Sicily's oldest and most esteemed wine families, is a leading producer of Etna wines at its Tenuta Tascante estate (the name is a portmanteau of Tasca and Etna). The Tasca family entered the Etna denomination in 2007 with the purchase of two vineyards in the communes of Castiglione di Sicilia and Randazzo on the north face of the volcano. The northern exposure is a cool-climate area, due to the combination of elevation and less direct sun, which helps to retain acidity in the wines. The Tasca family currently owns four parcels, located in the contrade of Pianodario and Sciaranuova in Randazzo, and Rampante and Grasà in Castiglione. (A contrada is a small subdivision of a commune, based on various defining criteria such as elevation, cultural/historical significance, or past lava flows.) The vineyards are mostly at elevations of 2,450 to 2,600 feet on the 11,000-foot mountain.