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A rich and fragrant wine of pure Nerello Mascalese from different vineyards (60 + year old vines), partly from their best parcels where they produce their crus (Zottorinoto-Chiusa Spagnolo, Feudo di Mezzo-Porcaria, Pontale Palino) as well as designated vineyards for this specific wine (Rampante, Piano Daini and Crasà). Fermented with indidgenous yeasts and then into large epoxy tanks to age, and then a tiny amount of sulphur at bottling. A classic, traditional Nerello Mascalese with sweetness of ripe cherry fruit, bonfire smoke and stony minerality wrapped up in sour berry acidity and firm but ripe tannins. This is Frank's vision of a traditional, balanced and rich Northern Valley Etna wine.
Pair with pork roasted with tomato and red capsicum or red meat and tomato based pastas.
Varietal / Blend: Nerello Mascalese
Decant: We insist!
Farming Practices: Organic
The farm and vineyards are located in Sicily, in the Northern Valley of the active volcano Mount Etna. Although Etna has a tradition in the high-density plantation of vines, they search to reduce monoculture and have interplanted various local fruit varieties and keep bees to regain a complex ecosystem, which follows the movements of mother earth. The vineyards are old ungrafted sapling vines that are more than 60 years old, from the vineyards called Chiusa Spagnolo, Monte Colla, Porcaria, Crasa, Piano Daini on Mount Etna’s north slope. Buckwheat is used for rebalancing soils low on organic material without recourse to industrial compost, especially important when preparing the land for a new vineyard plantation.
As bread is a daily need and the origin of the most nutritious cereals are in Sicily, Cornelissen was drawn to produce this obvious and classic farming product, (abandoned many years ago in the Etna region), as buckwheat helps regenerate the soil. Their ultimate goal is to evolve towards a self-sustainable agricultural reality based on the trilogy of Mediterranean farming (cereals, olive oil and wine) without exploiting Mother Earth, to produce whilst also returning, evolving towards an equilibrium of the land, which will take a lot of time before achieving. They avoid soil-tilling as much as possible, although this depends on the vintage and the quantity of water over the winter.
Frank's farming philosophy is based on the goal to understand nature and to avoid all treatments whatsoever in the vineyard, orchard and surroundings, in which they succeeded even in difficult vintages such as 2004 and 2005. Unfortunately, there will always be the vintages where treatments with copper sulphate and sulphur are necessary to avoid vines from dying like 2013 and 2015.