Sicily \\ Italy
Filippo Ayunta farms five hectares of old, low-yielding vineyards – some vines between 150 and 200 years old – all within a mile of each other on the northern slopes of Mt Etna in an exceptional contrada called Calderara Sottana, whose rocky, volcanic soils are derived from Etna’s very first eruption 3,000 years ago.
His bush vines are 700 metres above sea level and found within one of only three sites on Etna whose fundamental soils have seemingly not been altered by ensuing eruptions. Work in the vineyards is both hands-on (no machinery) and hands-off (no chemicals), with native grapes interplanted as was traditional. The climate is extreme with vast diurnal shifts and occasionally strong winds; in a small range you can find conditions and flora that’s both Nordic and African.
The wines are true to their territory and very special.