At Trinoro, he created a vineyard, essentially from scratch, clearing rough woodland terracing and planting it – the entire works. Here, on Etna, his task has been more about resurrection rather than creation, bringing long-since abandoned vineyards back into production and, for a little bit of extra fun, these vines are planted on the slopes of a very clearly live volcano! There is no doubt that Etna means business – a constant trickle of smoke and the odd flame destroy any illusions to the contrary. This strangely beautiful, totally arresting terroir presents a unique palette of aromatics to the winemaker.
Here, minerality assumes a new dimension with individual lava flows imparting a distinctive personality and complexity on the finished wines – as do the different altitudes. The reds are very individual expressions of the indigenous Nerello Mascalese grape, the contrade representing individual lava flows. The white is in fact 100% Chardonnay and was planted by Andrea. Whatever drives Andrea Franchetti to such lengths, we must be grateful that he has the imagination to envisage seemingly impossible projects and the courage to succeed in them.