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Europe’s winter freeze: Snow hits Sicily vineyards

A cold snap spreading across Europe has brought thick snow to the vineyards of Etna in Sicily. See photos below...

Temperatures fell across Eastern and Southern Europe in the past week, with deadly consequences in some areas. In Sicily, there have been no reports of deaths or injuries, but the snow did ground flights.

Below is the snowfall in several Sicily vineyards; not quite the sun-kissed image one conjures when thinking about the island off Italy’s southern coast.

Snow in Etna vineyards

Snow in Etna 2

Planeta Winery, Etna.

Planeta Winery shared pictures and videos of the snow in their vineyards on social media.

But Concette Bonini, from the winery, told Decanter.com ‘All the vines on Etna are ok!’

Snow in Etna

Vines at Planeta Winery, Etna.

The snow-covered vines in the Planeta Winery include Nerello Mascalese and Carricante.

Gambino Winery in Etna also took to Twitter and Instagram to share the snow in their vineyards.

They told Decanter.com that they welcome the snow, which they say happens about once a year.

Snow in Etna 4

Planeta Winery

The snow is ‘very good to the vine and wine quality.’

‘Indeed, the drop in temperature and dry air, even for a few days, lead vines to purify themselves by mold and bacteria accumulated during the wet season.’

They grow Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Carriante.

Etna’s ‘Alpine climate’

Ian D’Agata described Etna as ‘an Alpine climate in Mediterranean land’; a factor which he attributes to what makes the wines of Etna so special.

It means there is a high diurnal range – the difference in day to night temperatures – which helps the wine aromas to develop, said D’Agata.

Video footage of the snow in Etna – Planeta Winery


More on Etna wines:

Regional profile: Etna, Sicily

An influx of growers and winemakers over recent decades has meant that the vinous potential of Etna's unique volcanic terroir

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