Tasca d'Almerita Volcanic Wines

Volcanic wines are wines that are made from grapes that grow on slopes of active or dormant or extinct volcanoes. This group also comprises wines from the areas where volcanoes erupted thousands or even millions of years ago, such as Tasca d’Almerita in Sicily.

Special aspects of volcanic viticulture:

• Volcanoes and volcanic soils account for 1 % of land.

• There is no phylloxera on volcanic soils, therefore, vines often grow ungrafted and are pretty old in such regions. 

• Low crop yield results in high-concentration wines.

• Volcanic soils are well-drained, thus vines get an optimal amount of moisture.

• In volcanic zones, indigenous grape varieties prevail; it makes these wines so interesting to study.

*Detailed information about volcanic winemaking on Etna is provided below.


Region: Etna

History: Tasca d’Almerita is a winemaker family with over a century-long history, the first producers of the great Sicilian red wine, and owners and creators of premium Sicilian wines from several vineyards. The ancient house of Counts Tasca d’Almerita started making wine in the early 19th century in the area where their main Regaleali estate is located.

Vineyards: in 2004, the family launched the Tascante project on Etna. In 2007, they bought 19 hectares land on the northern slope of Etna in five contradas: Pianodario, Marchesa, Sciaranuova, Rampante and Grasà. The first vintage was harvested in 2016 and in 2019, the market saw the first Tascante volcanic wines. Today, the company’s wines are considered the gold standard of Etna wines.

Fast facts: the motto of the Tascante project (the name combines the words «tasca» and «Etna» in reverse order) is «Power of Nature in its Original State». The grapes (Nerello Mascalese, Carricante, Chardonnay) are harvested with ultimate care up to three times at each land area.

«It all started when my brother Giuseppe, an unequaled visionary, my beacon in life and business, brought several bottles of new wine from Etna that he liked. He was so right! That wine was intriguing, complex, and elegant. Then, after many years of search on all Etna slopes, we discovered two vineyards. I don’t know whether it was pure luck or we just were ready to set off on a new adventure and become „volcanic winemakers“ but we fell in love at first sight with those vineyards. The long-awaited fortune smiled upon us!» — Alberto Tasca, Tasca D’Almerita owner


The largest number of volcanic wines originate on islands and the mainland of Italy. Sicily is the most famous region of volcanic viticulture and owes its popularity to Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe.

For a long time, vines on the slopes of the Sicilian volcano remained abandoned. However, in the 1990s, the region experienced a real upsurge thanks to several winemakers. These days, hardly any land plot remains vacant on the volcano slopes: there are approximately 150 wine farms on Etna, 140 of which emerged within the last 20 years.

Etna soils are extremely diverse and contain basalt, pumice, and a thick layer of volcanic ash. Because of regular eruptions, soil composition is constantly changing and vineyards are threatened by lava streams. Winemakers that grow grapes on Etna slope soils are related to heroic viticulture due to several reasons:

• Mount Etna is an active volcano and operations in this region impose a risk to life; 

• Soils on the slopes are rocky and difficult to work; 

• Slope height and steepness make winemakers’ work even more difficult.

Etna vineyards cover an area of 908 hectares. They are located at heights of 400 to 1000 meters. Two indigenous varieties prevail on the volcano slopes: Nerello Mascalese and Carricante.

Tasca D’Almerita is fiery and stunning masterpiece by Sicilian visionaries and artists of wine-making. Mineral and expressive with a Mediterranean flare, Etna wines are made for those who appreciate subtle, fresh, and multifaceted flavors.

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