|Contrada Calderara - Randazzo (Catania)
Tenuta delle Terre Nere represents a leading winery in the Etna region, a volcanic land with unique and fascinating characteristics. The objective of Marc de Grazia, the winery's far-sighted founder, is to enhance this priceless winemaking heritage by producing wines of great elegance and expressive purity. The estate is located on the northern slope of Etna, between Solicchiata and Randazzo, a place of choice for red wines. Here, Marc produced his first vintage in 2002, a period in which he coined the term "the Burgundy of the Mediterranean" in reference to the Etnean territory, immediately beginning to vinify grapes from the different Contrade separately, a novelty at the time. Before embarking on this adventure on the slopes of Etna, the producer made his fortune in the United States as an importer of Italian wines, building a solid network of contacts.
There are 45 hectares available to Tenuta delle Terre Nere, spread over 29 plots scattered among 9 Contrade. This results in great pedological and territorial heterogeneity, with altitudes ranging from 600 to as much as 1,000 meters above sea level, exposures that are diverse and soils, always volcanic in nature, that vary in texture and composition. In addition, the temperature excursions during the ripening of the grapes are very significant, a positive factor for the elegance and structure of the wines. On these parameters, the estate exclusively raises the indigenous grape varieties Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Carricante, Catarratto, Inzolia, Grecanico and Minnella, varieties largely represented by very old vines. Agronomic management involves meticulous care of the vineyards, aimed at obtaining healthy, high quality grapes, which also allows for minimal intervention in the winery. Fermentations take place at a controlled temperature in steel or wood, with complete malolactic fermentation, while barriques, tonneaux and large oak barrels are used for subsequent aging, with a low percentage of new wood.
Among the prestigious Contrade that Tenuta delle Terre Nere can claim on its label are "Calderara Sottana", "Santo Spirito", "San Lorenzo", "Feudo di Mezzo" and "Guardiola". Etna Rosso "Prephylloxera - La Vigna di Don Peppino", produced from vines over 140 years old planted on a free-standing trellis, deserves a separate mention.