Sicily, volcano Etna, winery TENUTA DI AGLAEA

Winemaker Anne-Louise Mikkelsen

This in Sicily is the active volcano of Etna. This is on Sicily on the northern slope of the Etna volcano there is a functioning winery (zone of Randazzo) of Tenuta di Aglaea. This is a vineyard Nave which is shortly northwest of Randazzo is at a 1.002 meters above sea level.

vineyards of Tenuta di Aglaea

An absolute unique terroir makes the vineyards – a direct consequence of Etna and its numerous eruptions since its volcanic activity began more than half a million years ago. The lava flows hardened layers upon layers, and ashes filled on top. The result today is a very porous soil that is abundant in minerals, and extremely fertile. The vineyards are cultivated in terraces held up and apart by ancient stone walls 90-120 cm high.

The vineyards are located at the North side of Etna 700-800 meters above sea level providing for a relatively cool climate but with lots of sunshine, and light not least from the reflections coming of the sea, and the surrounding mountains with their characteristically high proportion of chalk. All the vineyards are planted with Nerello Mascalese, and trained by the Alberello system.


The miniscule and excellent vineyard Bocca d’Orzo in the zone of Randazzo combined with Passo Cannone and Santo Spirito in the zone of Passopisciaro make up the 1,8ha production site for wines.

Passo Cannone (1ha), Santo Spirito (0,5ha), Bocca d’Orzo o Piano d’Aria (0,3ha) and new ‘Nave’, Chiusa Politi and Sciara Nuova. The highest in the DOC zone is that of Chiusa Politi which is at 842 meters above sea level, whereas Nave which is shortly north west of Randazzo is at a 1.002 meters above sea level… 1.002 meters!


Vineyard of Tenuta di Aglaea

On the questions "YR" is the winemaker Anne-Loise Mikkelsen

Anne-Louise at work

1 - You have three small vineyards literally on Mount Etna: Passo Cannone, Santo Spirito, Bocca d'Orzo o Piano d'Aria. Which one is located above all? At what height above sea level?

Actually I have acquired a few more parcels just this late spring (I need to update the website!) with ‘Nave’, Chiusa Politi and Sciara Nuova. The highest in the DOC zone is that of Chiusa Politi which is at 842 meters above sea level, whereas Nave which is shortly north west of Randazzo is at a 1.002 meters above sea level.

2 - You have three (or four) interesting red wines: AGLAEA, THALìA, ANNACARE ... And Santo Spirito is also red? Where can I taste your wines? Castiglione? Randazzo?

Yes, four red wines and one White. My wines are available at il Buongustaio in Randazzo

3 -The history of creating your BIANCO SICILIA wine?

Well, since back in the days we always had white grapes intertwined with the red vines in the vineyards. Previously one would harvest everything together (so a mix of red grapes and white grapes – also dessert grapes like moscato) and the white would help to sweeten the final ‘ mass of must’ that what is turned into some kind of wine.

Now, I harvest the two things seperately and from the little white grapes I collect (just 80 kilos at Bocca d’Orzo! – the most is at Santo Spirito) I make a white wine. I love whites and wouldn’t be without it. It is great as and aperitif – it drinks great on its own as well as with salads, fish, crayfish and vegetable dishes. It is a blend of the various grapes there – carricante, greganico, catarratto, Inzolia, minella, and I always keep at least two bottles cool in the fridge at my house.

Bianco Sicilia Sorriso

4 - What is your favorite wine (red or white)? And why?

My favourite wine hmmm.....I care for many and very different wines but one I find to be absolutely stunning in its best years (eg. 1996) is the Premier Cru Clos Saint Jacques, Gevrey Chambertin by Armand Rousseau. First and foremost this wine has personality – descreet and elegant, and wonderful aromas. It is perfectly balanced and to me Burgundy at its best.

5 - Your vineyards are located in fantastically beautiful places. Have you thought about building your own tourist way.. What will be the length of the route?

Actually I haven’t but in case it should become relevant I would do a tour around Passo Cannone (around 707 meters above sea level) to see the young plants, then move up around Schiara Nuovo (773 m.above sea level), then Bocca d’Orzo (782 m. above sea level) and finish at the little Chiusa Politi at 842 m. above sea level. The route well present vineyards on bigger plateaus as well as small terrazed parcels with old vines trained Alberello and only worked by hand.

6 - Do you prefer (it's important for you) the color of the wine?

Yes, color is important but not a determinate factor. Obviously it is the first thing you see once you pour a wine, and it attracts you to the glass – it stimulates curiosity to try the wine

7 - Your Choice for the Yellow Road of white (yellow) wine? BIANCO SICILIA?

OF course Bianco Sicilia Sorriso

8 - You can offer the most spectacular view (favorite point) on vineyards or the surrounding landscape

Contrada Marchesa – Loc. Passo Cannone (picture 5635 from when it was planted). You have a free 360 degree view around you and can look straight up at Etna

View of Etna and the vineyards of Tenuta

9 - If it's not a secret, what are your plans for the future?

A dream plan for the future is to be able to offer visitors a wine-dine experience – a place where I myself can prepare dishes to accompany my wine.

10 - Which white wine producer (from Italy or another country) would you recommend for the Yellow Road?

I would recommend Jean-Nòel Gagnard of Burgundy. When I first tasted his wines some 20 years ago they very wonderful, some of the best I ever tasted. Now, 20 years later tasting the new vintages only confirmed to me that this domaine (now run by his daughter) continues to make really wonderful wines.

Sergey Evtuhov,author of the project

топик прочитан 691 раз
добавлен 6 августа 2018, 12:32


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