ViniMilo – an event to uncover the unique world of wines that grow in the rich soils of Sicily’s Mount Etna. From plumes of smoke against a bright sky to streams of orange lighting up the night skies tinged with perfumes of fruit and ash, the wines of Etna DOC are an appellation on the rise.
The Vulcanic Wines of Etna DOC
Unique, like its Etna Bianco Superiore DOC, and immersive, like the 18 large and small wineries that have blossomed in the last five years with the new course of viticulture on Etna: ViniMilo, the 42nd edition of the historic pre-harvest event dedicated to wine culture on Etna, returns from August 29th to September 11th. An event that this year from the peaks of Europe’s largest active volcano opens its gaze wide to excellent agri-food productions from all over Sicily and opens its doors to a special guest, His Majesty Marsala, the wine that made the English fall in love in 1773.
The event will be presented to the press and industry insiders on August 29th with the traditional opening event, hosted in what, with almost three centuries of history (dating back to 1727) is the oldest winery on Etna: Barone di Villagrande.
Encouraging the organizers are the numbers provided by the Etna DOC Consortium: in 2021, 446 hectoliters of Etna Bianco Superiore (EBS) DOC, a wine produced from Carricante grapes circumscribed by the 1968 regulations precisely to the Milo area, were in fact bottled. More than twice as much as the previous year, when 220 hl (+102.7%) were produced. Indeed, it is a conference on the EBS Doc that opens ViniMilo 2022 on Monday, August 29th ( at 6 p.m., in the Service Center), which, after a two-year break due to the pandemic, returns over the two weekends in Belvedere Square.
It starts on the 29th from Etna Bianco Superiore, then, with an ideal journey led by journalist Turi Caggegi in the mountain districts that in Milo open wide to the sun and breathe sea breeze at night.
Discovering the many expressions of a wine of excellence will be Salvo Foti (winemaker and producer), volcanologist Stefano Branca (INGV director of Catania), botanist Pietro Minissale (UNICT lecturer), Seby Costanzo ( VP of the Etna DOC Consortium), sommelier Vittorio Cardaci and 18 historic and new producers from the area: Barone di Villagrande, Benanti Viticoltori, I Vigneri di Salvo Foti, Tenute di Nuna, Eredi Di Maio, Curtaz Eredi di Maio, Cantine Iuppa, Cantina Maugeri, Gaetano Russo Bianco di Cava, Azienda agricola Alfio Cosentino, Azienda agricola A Massara, Tre. mi.la di Gloria di Paola, Cantine Edomè di Paola Cianci, Pietradolce di Mario Faro, Cantine di Nessuno, Cantina Calcagno, I Custodi delle vigne dell’Etna, Sive Natura di Giuseppe Paoli.
Alongside the tastings and masterclasses led by producers and oenologists, the protagonists of ViniMilo 2022 are, as always, the sommelier associations that will lead in-depth thematic discussions. Among the classic appointments curated by two producers from Milo and that have already registered a boom in bookings since the announcement: Etna 10 years ago, a blind tasting of wines from the 2012 vintage (31/8 I Vigneri), and Etna among the great whites, a comparative tasting that pits Etna glasses “against” glasses of prestigious European labels.
Food, Wine, and More
In the food area, the tried-and-tested partnership with Slowfood Catania is confirmed, as well as a taste workshop that will be a mini “Tour of Italy” among the excellence of wines and food from seven Italian regions, while for the first time there will be experimentation with pairings between the Italian comfort food par excellence, pizza, and glasses of Etna wines.
Then the traditional dinner with the “Volcanic Wines” association and the tasting desk with food pairings and volcanic wines from various regions of Italy curated by Barone di Villagrande will return. In the wine tourism area, social and digital communication, a tool to reach younger wine lovers, will also be discussed at the conference “From Boomers to Generation X” promoted by “Strada del Vino e dei sapori dell’Etna.”
From Capo Lilibeo to Etna, along the longitudinal axis that ideally crosses the island, Milo will host the tale of the history of Marsala with four great producers: Florio, Pellegrino, De Bartoli and Barraco; and then stories of Italian viticulture with a comparison between the territories of Etna and Sardinia; while Irvo (Regional Institute of Wine and Oil) will lead a meeting dedicated to experimental wines, those produced from “minor” vines that are witnesses of biodiversity.
Space will also be given to Sicily’s green gold with the APO, which will lead an itinerary among the island’s extra virgin olive oils; while the Etna DOC Consortium will once again this year propose two meetings on approaching wine with guided tastings and an invitation to conscious drinking.
Wine civilization on the volcano, Etna nature trails, Alcantara Valley and Grand Tour, finally, are the topics of the meetings with authors and publishers of the Literary Enoteca.