Estate: Pioneering, iconic winemaker Frank Cornelissen is renowned for his strict adherence to extremely minimal intervention, natural winemaking methods. The 24 hectare estate is located on the north slope of Mount Etna in Sicily. The 13 hectares of old vine vineyards have an elevation range from 1900 to 3200 feet above sea level. Cornelissen’s goal for the land “is to evolve towards a self-sustainable agricultural reality based on the trilogy of Mediterranean farming (cereals, olive oil and wine) without exploiting Mother Earth, to produce whilst also returning, evolving towards equilibrium of the land, which will take time”.
Philosophy: “Our farming philosophy is based on our acceptance of the fact that man will never be able to understand nature’s full complexity and interactions. We therefore choose to concentrate on observing and learning the movements of Mother Earth in her various energetic and cosmic passages and prefer to follow her indications as to what to do, instead of deciding and imposing ourselves.”
Winemaking: Grapes are from different vineyards, “partly from our best parcels where we produce our crus (Zottorinoto-Chiusa Spagnolo, Feudo di Mezzo-Porcaria, Pontale Palino) as well as designated vineyards for this specific wine (Rampante, Piano Daini and Crasà).” Vines are 60+ years in age. Destemmed and light crush, fermentation with native yeasts started with pied-de-cuve, with about 60 days of skin contact. Aged in neutral epoxy tanks from 2500 liters to 7000 liters, unfined, minimal sulphur, if at all.
Frank states: “A classic, traditional Nerello Mascalese with tannins and sweetness of ripe fruit. My vision of a traditional, balanced and rich Northern Valley Etna wine.”
Tasting Notes: Bright ruby red in colour, very aromatic; with cinnamon, orange, rose petal, cherry, raspberry, smoky earth, black pepper and grilled rosemary. Cherry, wild strawberry, pomegranate, tarry earth and fresh acidity glide across silky, firm tannins. Cracked black peppercorn, grilled herbs and a trace of cherry linger on the savory finish. Engaging and refined.
100% Nerello Mascalese
Terre Siciliane IGP
Produced & Bottled by Azienda Agricola Frank Cornelissen