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Mount Etna is one of the most unique wine areas in the world. Etna DOC vineyards grow on volcanic slopes 2,3000 feet above sea level, offering breathtaking views of Italy’s most famous active volcano. Although wine has been made in the Etna area since antiquity, Etna DOC has only recently reclaimed its place among Italy’s finest wines.
About Etna DOC Wines:Etna produces red, white and also rosé wines. The red has a ruby color, aromas of ripe red berries and hints of vanilla, as well as a structured tannic taste, reminiscent of a Barolo. The white is dry with flowery aromas and hints of peach.
Grape blend: Red: At least 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio. White: At least 60% Carricante with no more than 40% Cattarratto.
When it’s best to drink: red after 3-5 years, white and rosé after 1-2 years.
Pairings for Etna DOC: Etna white wines are best paired with local specialties such as Sardine ‘beccafico’and aubergine wraps. The red is best paired with grilled meats and mature Sicilian ‘pecorino’ cheese.
The area around Etna is so varied that you can enjoy many different vacations within one trip. Here’s a few pointers:
There are plenty of guided tours to visit the volcano, but if you are wanting to go on your own, then take the chair life from the Rifugio Sapienza on Etna’s north side (Nicolosi), and then continue on foot or by 4x4. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing like hiking boots and a jumper as temperatures drop considerably on the top, even though you’re on a volcano! Don’t miss the ‘Valle del Bove’, formed by an enormous landslide, which is one of Etna’s most impressive features.
Note that sometimes the craters can be closed due to volcanic activity. You should also visit the ‘Grotta dell’Etna’, a grotto famous for having ice all year around.
Fun fact:11,000 feet high, Mount Etna is the highest mountain in Italy south of the alps and the vineyards on its slopes are the highest commercial ones in the world too making Etna a difficult experience to top!
Top attractions: As well as hiking around the Etna Regional Park and excursions up to see volcano, the coastal cities of Catania and Taormina are well worth a visit.
Weather: The volcano has created a multitude of microclimates, but generally the winters are mild in the coastal areas and in the foot hills, while snow and sub 0 dc temperatures are normal at higher altitudes. Summer on Etna is also temperate, although it can get very hot on the coast.
Main points of interest
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