C o n t r a d e a n d C o m m u n i t i e s

The districts of the Etna area are known as contrade, they are the heart of a rich and extraordinary wine region, each offering varying degrees of exposure and altitude, a range of subtly different microclimates and soils.

133 contrade divided among 20 municipalities, each with its exposure and soil quality – igneous and alluvial – a diverse mosaic of terroirs, fertile lands, the livelihood of all the populations who have lived here. Viticulture in this area has very ancient origins: between 1880 and 1885 Catania was the Sicilian province with the highest number of vineyards – planted over 90,000 hectares of land – until the phylloxera epidemic of the early 1900s seriously damaged viticulture and the local economy. Despite the many difficulties along the way, the Etna area is once again one of the world’s most interesting wine regions, thanks to a rich and complex ampelographic heritage.  It’s ‘productive essence’ is centred around the traditional alberello bush-vine, the symbol of a high-altitude winegrowing tradition that is often referred to as ‘heroic viticulture’.