Some of the most exciting and intriguing wines coming out of Italy have one thing in common: the volcanic origins of their soils. While the wines of Mount Etna immediately pop to mind, a surprising number of great wines, from the Veneto down to Sicily, hail from volcanic terroirs.
And while minerality is one of the most debated subjects in the wine world, Italy’s volcanic soils impart undeniable mineral sensations that include flint, crushed rock and saline, lending depth and complexity to the resulting wines.
Additionally, many of these grape-growing areas have extremely old vines, some more than 100 years old in parts of Campania and Sicily. And nearly all of the “volcanic” denominations rely on native varietals that have had centuries to adapt to their growing conditions.
The vineyard altitude, grape varieties and cellar practices all play crucial roles in the final product, but volcanic soils lend structure, longevity and an extra layer of dimension to the final wines. Here’s where to find these complex beauties.
The full article will be published in the February 2018 issue, but it is already available online: The Volcanic Wines of Italy
- Contrade di Taurasi – Lonardo 2011 Vigne d’Alto (Taurasi) 94 Points
- La Sibilla 2015 Falanghina (Campi Flegrei) 89 Points
- Pieropan 2015 Calvarino (Soave Classico) 96 Points Cellar Selection
- Prà 2015 Staforte (Soave Classico) 92 Points Editors’ Choice
From left to right: Pieropan 2015 Calvarino (Soave Classico); Prà 2015 Staforte (Soave Classico); Fattori 2011 Roncà 60 Non Dosato Metodo Classico (Lessini Durello) / Photo by Con PoulosPiemonte
- Le Piane 2009 Boca 95 Points Editors’ Choice
- Palazzone 2015 Campo del Guardiano (Orvieto Classico Superiore) 93 Points Editors’ Choice
- Marchesi Antinori 2016 Castello della Sala San Giovanni della Sala (Orvieto Classico) 93 points
- Sergio Mottura 2016 Tragugnano (Orvieto) 90 points