Building upon 200 years of winemaking history, the Duca di Salaparuta group continue on their path of innovation founded on tradition with another project that highlights their continued exploration of the multiple Sicilian terroirs. Following the success of Suòlo, the company now adds another iconic Sicilian terroir to its portfolio: Mount Etna.
Exploring a unique terroir
More than Sicily itself, the Etna embodies a creative battle of all the elements; earth, water, wind and fire have created a unique landscape where the harshness of nature yields grapes of great concentration, purity of flavour and elegant minerality.
Wanting to explore this dramatic terroir, Duca di Salaparuta found its Etna home at the Vajasindi Estate, in Castiglione di Sicilia, on the volcano’s Northern slope. Vajasindi, with its beautiful cellar made of lava stone, covers 21 hectares of stone-walled vineyards divided into two main plots, at 620 and 700 metres above sea level. The viticultural landscape reflects the opposing forces that shape the Etna: high altitude with strong maritime breezes ensuring ventilation and the health of the vines; mineral-rich fast draining soils that allow the plants to grow deep roots. Darkness and light, depth and altitude – complementary forces that shape the character of a unique region.
The estate’s location and aspect create a particular microterroir, where the Duca di Salaparuta viticultural and winemaking teams found the ideal setting to produce a range of wines embodying both the spirit of the Etna DOC and the company’s core ethos, which celebrates the identity of Sicily’s different regions and indigenous grapes, while exploring new methods of productions and the potential to introduce new varieties.
Wines of character
The Vajasindi Estate is now a parent of the Lavico wines, a red and a white made from Etna’s flagship grape varieties, Carricante and Nerello Mascalese. These grow on 10 hectares with soils of volcanic origin, resulting from the disintegration of different types of lava and eruptive material such as lapilli, ash and sand. The landscape’s powerful contrasts are reflected on the wines, with their elegant minerality, flavour complexity, lean texture and incredible length. The wines themselves convey the sense of cool intensity that is Etna’s trademark.
Alongside the two local varieties, Duca di Salaparuta has also embarked on a long term project to explore the Pinot Noir affinity for the Etna terroir. A challenge made by the renowned winemaker Giacomo Tachis, the research has so far resulted in the production of Duca Nero, a sparkling Blanc de Noirs, and Nawàri, now one of the company’s most iconic wines.
Lavico – the wines
Lavico Etna Bianco DOC 2021
100% Carricante, 13% alc
A wine that captures the essence of the Etna terroir and of its flagship white grape variety, Carricante, with its vibrant acidity and elegant mineral profile. Intense aromas of peach, ripe citrus, mango and papaya lined by an iodine, spicy touch. Very elegant framework, with a good saline backbone balanced by poised fruit and assertive acidity. Great persistence and ageing potential.
Perfect served alongside spaghetti alle vongole (sprinkled with bottarga) or pasta alle sarde.
Lavico Etna Rosso DOC 2020
100% Nerello Mascalese, 13% alc
A characterful expression of Nerello Mascalese from the Etna’s northern slopes, echoing the darkness of the ash soils and the clarity of the mountain air. The specific mesoclimate of the area yields grapes with filigreed aromas and fine tannins. Partial ageing in concrete and French oak for 12 months has added texture and complexity, reflected on the palate’s elegant structure. Aromas of red fruits are topped by herbal notes, sweet spices and a touch of balsamico. Great length, driven by fresh and vibrant acidity.
A perfect companion to grilled meats and/or vegetables, as well as with rich fish dishes. Best enjoyed slightly chilled.
Discover more about Duca di Salaparuta here
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