Located in a small hamlet near the town of Solicchiata, on the northern side of Mount Etna, Carmelo Vecchio and Rosa La Guzza, are the mastermind couple behind Vigneti Vecchio.
Before starting Vigneti Vecchio in 2016, Carmelo worked for over 15 years for Andrea Franchetti at the nearby Passopisciaro winery. Rosa had been passed a hectare of alberello-trained vines that her family had nurtured for 130 years.
The grapes grow from the fertile soils where lava once flowed. Sandy soil and decomposed volcanic rock complement the southerly latitude and the cool nights to allow the vines, some of which were planted in the early nineteenth century, to reach their full potential.
Carmelo and Rosa follow organic practices in the vineyards and minimal intervention methods in the cellar. Their mission is to give maximum respect to the terroir, to tradition and to the role of simple enology. The grapes are harvested by hand and selected in the vineyard itself. The grapes are then left to ferment naturally using indigenous yeast in stainless steel tanks, with some light punch-downs and pump overs before aging, which for the reds, takes place in used 500 litre oak barrels. The wines are not fined or filtered. Total annual output is approx. 10,000 bottles.
Etna is increasingly home to newcomers fascinated by what this area has to offer but, as true locals, Vigneti Vecchio stands as tall and strong as the land from which they come from. Their wines hold their own amongst those from traditional wine regions elsewhere in Italy and demonstrate precisely why others come to Etna to attempt to do what Carmelo and Rosa have already achieved.
Ultravino is the UK exclusive importer