BARONE DI VILLAGRANDE
The winery owes its name to the title that Charles VI of Habsburg King of Naples attributed to Carmelo Nicolosi in 1727, that of Baron of Villagrande: the title was attributed to him for the extraordinary commitment with which he and his family dedicated themselves to the soul and body to the transformation of the lands of Etna, from an inaccessible place to a land suitable for cultivation. The title therefore cemented an indissoluble bond, that between the Nicolosi Asmundo family and the lava land of Etna. It was in 1869, a few years after the Italian unification, that Pablo Nicolosi created the new winemaking cellar, thus becoming the first to use two different types of winemaking for white and red grapes and creating the ancestor of Etna Bianco Superiore. In 1968 the DOC Etna was recognized, the first on the island: the specification was written by Carlo Nicolosi Asmundo, Marco's father who today carries on the family business by combining the centuries-old family traditions with love and respect for Nature, without neglecting the desire to make known and highlight the peculiarities of the territory of Sicily: since 1989 Cantina Barone di Villagrande can boast the BIO certification. The territory is that of the east side of Etna, 700 m above sea level, where part of the company's vineyards are located. The presence of Etna has a considerable influence on the climate and therefore on the crops: autumn and winter enjoy copious rainfall compared to the rest of Sicily; summer is also different from the rest of the island and the rains are almost non-existent. But what most affects viticulture, giving a lower alcohol content than the average of Sicilian wines, is a strong temperature range between day and night. Another peculiar element is a soil rich in iron, copper, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, with little nitrogen and no calcium: the Carricante, Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio are bred here but the company is also aiming at a recovery of vines linked to the tradition of these lands. Another part of the vineyards is located on the island of Salina, also volcanic and therefore with a very draining lava soil: this is where the Passito Malvasia delle Lipari is born, thanks to a more Mediterranean climate, with rare rains and high temperatures in spring and summer. Cantina Barone di Villagrande also promotes wine tourism to raise awareness of Sicilian wines, of Etna in particular, as well as the landscape beauties of the place: it is therefore possible to visit the historic cellars, attend wine tastings in combination with typical pitti area.