The grapes to produce Sicilia DOC “Millesulmare” Santa Maria La Nave were destemmed and gently pressed, obtaining 60% of first pressed juice. The must was cold settled at 10°C for 36 hours prior to being inoculated with indigenous yeasts. Alcoholic fermentation took place at 18 to 20°C, preserving the aromatic content. Sicilia DOC “Millesulmare” Santa Maria La Nave was then racked, followed by a weekly stirring (bâtonnage) of the fine lees. The cool temperatures stabilised the tartaric acid, making the final wine less acidic and softer on the palate. After a light clarification and filtration, the wine was bottled and aged for several months.
The one hectare vineyard is situated on the north western slopes of Mount Etna, at an altitude of 1,100 metres – one of the highest vineyards in Europe. Following a 15 year massal selection of local plants, the Grecanico Dorato vines planted are from several ancient clones grafted on Richter 110 and Paulsen 1103 rootstocks. The climate provides warm, dry days during the summer, with significant diurnal temperature variation during the ripening period; during the summer the day time temperatures can reach 35°C and drop to just over 1°C at night, encouraging a gradual ripening process resulting in rich flavours, balancing acidity and aromatic complexity. The highly organic soil has significant residues of old lave flow, imparting marked minerality in the resulting wine. The vines are predominantly trained on the Guyot trellising system. The vines are farmed using organic methods, without the use of pesticides and are manually harvested. Certified organic.
Santa Maria La Nave is a small, authentic boutique winery on Mount Etna established by Giuseppe “Peppino” Mulone in 1954 that grows indigenous varieties such as Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio in an ancient vineyard with rich, fertile volcanic soils. Passion and respect for the unique microclimate, along with artisanal vinification are at the heart of the Santa Maria La Nave project. Produced in small quantities, from dramatic surroundings, these are exquisite, food friendly wines.