Winery visit: Santa Maria La Nave, Etna DOC

The day I met Sonia Spadaro Mulone…

… is one to remember. We drove from Rome to Sicily, which took six hours including taking a ferry to Catania to reach Santa Maria La Nave winery. We were hosted in the ancient Palazzo Biscari steeped in 1,000 years of history.

The next day, we went to the vineyard, starting at Vigna Casa Decima located on the northwestern slope of the volcano at 1,100 masl, a place surrounded by ancient lava flows. That was the first time I saw a selection of ancient ungrafted vines with their wonderful vine variety, Grecanico Dorato. Sonia prepared a delicious breakfast apéritif to accompany her Tempesta sparkling wine –  fresh bread, ricotta, saffron cheese, honey, ham, salami, olives and dried tomatoes.

While we were enjoying that, I looked upwards and realised we were very near Etna’s caldera, so close! It was unbelievable. Then we crossed to the volcano’s southeastern slope to visit Sonia’s other vineyard located at 800 masl, on the incredibly steep side of an ancient Etna crater, home to ancient vines of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, pre-phylloxera vineyard. 

We then had lunch at her parents-in-law’s home, which houses a small vineyard and orchard as well as a circular cellar. Sonia and her husband Ricardo had called the chef who cooked for their wedding, and he prepared 25 typical Sicilian dishes. It was so abundant, but I will never forget the never-ending meal and the amazing feast we enjoyed… we ate until we almost exploded, just like the nearby volcano.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *