The vineyards of Vini Eudes command an enviable position on Etna. High above the thin strip of land that separates Sicily’s defining volcano from the Ionian Sea, Giovanni and Laura Messina have staked their future on 3 hectares of native vines. Sweeping stonewall terraces are banked into the sides of Monte Gorna, smaller volcanic cone and one of many that dot the mother crater. Plantings of carricante, catarratto, and nerello mascalese are just coming into their own at 10 years, but those familiar with the trajectory of Etna’s vines can anticipate a long and glorious future for them. The black sand and pumice soils are rich in potassium and minerals, poor in organic matter, and highly porous—ideal conditions for long, slow, healthy vine growth. Giovanni and Laura are committed to organic farming, hand harvests, and clean, temperature-controlled fermentations in stainless steel. Bianco di Monte is the signature white blend of Etna: currently 80% carricante, 20% catarratto. After fermentation, it spends 15 months on the fine lees before light filtration and bottling. The Monte is a monovarietal carricante that showcases the texture, length, and saltiness of this variety when grown at low yields in such elemental terroir. In the current release vintage of 2015, a single barrel was produced. The wines are polished, silky, and deep—a compelling expression of Etna terroir.
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