These grapes come from the highest red vineyard in Europe, which might seem like trivia except that it’s not trivial at all. Sicily, far south as viticulture goes, dry and hot to boot, usually makes opulent, full-bodied reds, but Marco DeGrazia grows his Read more...

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These grapes come from the highest red vineyard in Europe, which might seem like trivia except that it’s not trivial at all. Sicily, far south as viticulture goes, dry and hot to boot, usually makes opulent, full-bodied reds, but Marco DeGrazia grows his Nerello at close to three thousand feet, in north-facing vineyards, and his Etna Rosso is luminous and bright. To say it’s like other light-bodied wines of strong character (Burgundy or Nebbiolo, say) is true but trivial. Like all great wines it has its own unique character. On the slopes of an active volcano, this will inevitably be very minerally, with a hint of smoke, which stands nicely against the clean red cherry, cranberry, and raspberry fruit. The elevated situation and high diurnal temperature variation (more than 50˚ at times) make for long growing and slow ripening, while cool temperatures ensure the acid structure that keeps long-hanging fruit fresh.