Graci, Sicily

Graci, Sicily

Alberto Aiello Graci has been making wine on Sicily's Mount Etna since 2004, the year he returned from his apprenticeship as a Milan banker, picking up the baton with 5 hectares of family land, 2 hectares of which is vineyards (the rest polycultural activities).

The region of Etna Rosso, famous for its black lava soils and elegant red wines made from the Nerello Mascalese and Cappuccio grapes, has been undergoing a revival since 2000, lured by juicy EU grants and spectacular scenery. Once carpeted with vines - the fruit of which was allegedly used to in bulk to prop up the wines of the Langhe and of Burgundy - it has now become an artisan's playground, a mix of hobbyist and commercial winegrowers.

Alberto Graci is definitely in the latter category; his feet firmly on the ground. As the Vice President of the Consorzio, that covers 300 hectares of Etna DOC, he's forever preoccupied with the quality of the wines now being produced (at yields still as high as 65hl/ha).

His patch of heaven is part 50 year old, 8500 high density, free-standing 'alberello' vines at 1000 metres above sea level that produce naturally low yields amid the black grainy soils, part younger trained vines on flatter, lower sandier terra. He prefers to tend his vines as naturally as possible.

Fermentation takes place in a combination of large cement and Au strian Stockhinger oak of 42hl, at ambient (30-35 celsius) temperatures, using wild yeast, before moving the wine into slightly smaller Gamba barrels. He seeks the reductive quality of large oak, that captures the character of the soil and fruit, rather than the stylistic effects of micro-oxygenation brought by French barriques.

Alberto debuted his Etna Rosato (100% Nerello Mascalese) with the 2013 vintage, partnering the earlier drinking smoky red Etna Rosso, the more structured, wilder berried Quota 600 (from vines 600 metres up - a 500 case production of only Nerello Mascalese and Cappuccio, lush and lithe), the high thrills of his Quota 1000 and the minerally citrus Etna Bianco Contrada Arcuria (made from 100% Carricante).

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£47.00 – bottle (75cl)
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2016 Etna Bianco, Arcurìa , Graci, Sicily, Italy
White
2016
Ready, but will keep
Medium Bodied
Dry
13.0% Alcohol
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£51.00 – bottle (75cl)
Limited availability
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2016 Etna Rosso, Feudo di Mezzo, Graci, Passopisciaro, Sicily, Italy
Red
2016
Ready, but will improve
Full Bodied
Dry
14.0% Alcohol
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Available in bond
2011 Quota 600, Etna Rosso, Graci, Passopisciaro, Sicilia
Red
2011
Ready, but will keep
Full Bodied
Dry
14.0% Alcohol
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Available in bond
2016 Etna Rosso, Graci, Passopisciaro, Sicilia
Red
2016
Ready, but will keep
Medium Bodied
Dry
14.0% Alcohol
Find out more
Available in bond
2014 Etna Bianco, Contrada da Arcuria, Graci, Passopisciaro, Sicilia
White
2014
Ready, but will keep
Medium Bodied
Dry
13.0% Alcohol
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Available in bond
2014 Etna Rosso, Feudo di Mezzo, Graci, Passopisciaro, Sicily, Italy
Red
2014
Ready, but will improve
Full Bodied
Dry
14.0% Alcohol
Find out more
Available in bond
2013 Etna Rosso, Contrada da Arcuria, Graci, Passopisciaro, Sicilia
Red
2013
Ready, but will keep
Full Bodied
Dry
14.5% Alcohol
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Available in bond
2015 Etna Bianco, Arcurìa , Graci, Sicily, Italy
White
2015
Ready, but will keep
Medium Bodied
Dry
13.0% Alcohol
Find out more