Calabretta is a vineyard in Sicily was really instrumental in inspiring and accommodating the infamous Belgian Frank Cornelissen to start his winery in 2001. Calabretta has been joined by, in the last eighteen years now, at least 40 to 50 cellars that promote Etna, at least 80 labels on the marketplace and all the big wineries of Sicily, and now many of the most famous wineries in the rest of Italy have also arrived on Etna.
The current winemaker is Max Calabretta, who lectures in engineering in Genoa, and his team run the vineyard and winery outside Randazzo, which is on the western edge of Etna’s famous north valley. Their wines are aged in ‘botte grande’, large classic Italian casks. They have also got some very small production wines like Pinot Noir and hundred year-old vine parcels which produce so little wine, they can’t fill a large cask. Etna is now going through an absolute gold-rush of new projects, The area is being rediscovered from almost nothingness up to the point of being one of the world’s great names.
The Pinot Noir and the two very old wine bottlings, are raised in older small casks for a short period of time, normally one and a half to two years. Careful temperature control in the winery facilitates natural alcoholic and malolactic fermentations without the addition of commercial yeasts, and the use of sulphur is minimal – the principles that make Calabretta a great example and leading light in the natural wine movement.
Azienda Vinicola Calabretta
Via Bonaventura 178A,