THE CELLAR AND ITS VINEYARDS
THE ETNEA CRESCENT AND THE VICATED LANDS
THE ETNEA CRESCENT AND THE VICATED LANDS
From an oenological point of view, Etna presents itself as a “crescent” of vineyards, between the municipalities of Randazzo on the North side and that of S. Maria Licodia on the South side. The two sides have different vocations and climates, the northern one is colder and more windy with strong excursions and snowfalls – where the local varieties suitable for great reds prevail, such as Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and the rare Minnella variety while in the southern quadrants – sunnier, closer to the sea and with more accentuated rainfall – the white grapes give their best, in particular Carricante, which thus acquire minerality and roundness, complementing a basic structural acidity which guarantees the wines a long and happy v.
THE CELLAR and ITS VINEYARDS
The beating heart of Fessina beats at 670 meters above sea level, in Rovittello, Castiglione di Sicilia (CT). The vineyards – approximately 7 hectares – are located between two ancient semicircular slopes, lava flows from the past that isolate the vineyard like old walls of the French “clos”, creating a unique microenvironment. Hazelnut groves alternate with vines, a few olive trees complete the agricultural puzzle of the rasola, which carve out the arable land, caging it in dark lava stone walls. In Fessina there are still old vineyards, mainly planted with the traditional and very ancient method of the Etna tree in a framework, with ages varying between 70 and 110 years and with high densities of vines per hectare but a limited production of bunches. The vineyard is located on a ridge of shallow, black soil, with a significant presence of sand, rich in small pumices and fine destructured clays. Trace elements, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese abound on this soil: the wines obtained from the grapes produced on these soils are able to amaze with the richness and complexity of the aromas accompanied by an interesting and elegant structure.
In Rovittello the winter is harsh, with frequent snowfalls, the spring is cool and rainy, the summer hot and dry, a long, warm autumn, with a very high temperature differential between night and day. “Vertical” wines, with clear acidity and a defined profile.
In Fessina, handmade viticulture is practiced, linked to the peasant tradition, the memory of which still vibrates today with the historical terraces that support authentic rocky pearls: mainly Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Carricante grow on these small terraces. The philosophy of the Estate was clear from the first moment, focusing on the valorization of biodiversity, the interactions between the various genotypes create complexity and a series of connections that must be understood as a harmonious community of elements completely different from each other.
The attention to the varietal is maximum, in particular the pure Carricante has always played a fundamental role in Fessina’s projects, with the first vintage of A’Puddara the potential of an idea was perceived, that of giving full expression to the white berry par excellence here on the volcano. Also in this case Silvia concentrated on the area of choice capable of giving an exuberant expression.
Biancavilla, to the south, is undoubtedly an area historically linked to Carricante, at impervious heights of 900 meters and above, where Mascalese rarely ripens, this variety has found fertile ground among the oldest sands of the entire area.
Another area in which Fessina wanted to invest to guarantee another characteristic expression of pure Carricante is Milo, to the east, here we are even higher and the black sands full of minerals guarantee roundness and fatness for a less vertical and acidic expression , but equally complex and unique.
The philosophy is therefore linked to the Etna tradition, the vineyard only has what it strictly needs and the impacts in the cellar are minimal. It is a path dedicated to craftsmanship, and respect for nature in its various facets, on all its sides with the peculiarities that derive from it and which must be respected. The cultivation is “conscious”: there is only what the vine needs.