Situated high up on the northern slope of Mount Etna, in the region of Sicily, in Italy, Tenuta delle Terre Nere is one of the greatest Sicilian wine producers. Owned since 2002 by Marco De Grazia, this estate, perched between Solicchiata and Randazzo, enjoys a fantastic terroir in the DOC Etna appellation.
This 30-hectare vineyard is divided into more than 50 plots. The great diversity of lava and sandy soils, stretching between 600 and 1000 metres above sea level, makes this an exceptional vineyard. The best four plots here are Calderara, Sottana, Santo Spirito, Guardiola and Feudo di Mezza. Cultivated organically since 2002, the Tenuta delle Terre Nere estate was certified Organic in 2010.
The vines making up this vineyard are between 50 and 140 years old. There is also a small plot believed to have survived phylloxera, which is today inhabited by 130 to 140 year old vines, among the oldest in Europe. The fruit from these old vines are used to create the estate’s Préphylloxéra cuvée. In accordance with Sicilian traditions and resources, Tenuta delle Terre Nere relies on native grape varieties from the island, including Catarrato, Carricante, Inzolia and Grecanico for its DOC Etna Bianco. For the Etna Rosso DOC wines, Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio are grown.
Marco de Grazia produces his wine in a half-underground cellar. The wines are vinified in both barrels and stainless steel vats. Confident in his terroir and proud of its riches, Marco de Grazia allows fermentation to begin with natural yeasts. Finally, the ageing takes place in oak barrels and in foudres of 10 to 15% new oak for a period of 16 to 20 months.
The wines of Tenuta delle Terre Nere, all classified in the DOC Etna appellation, are fragrant and youthful. From the slightly spicy Feudo di Mezzo (red), to the juicy Santo Spirito (white), the wines of Tenuta delle Terre Nere are expressive and precise, offering an authentic expression of these unique volcanic soils.