Italian Wine Podcast amplifies a new generation of Etna winemakers

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While Mount Etna may be ancient, the Etna wines we love today are actually quite young. And, so are some of the winemakers behind them. In an exciting new series, the Italian Wine Podcast is sharing the unique voices behind one of the hottest wine appellations in Italy today.

The world loves the wines of Etna. From zippy white wines to elegant reds, there is no shortage of bottled finesse coming from this renowned Sicilian wine appellation. While winemaking in Etna is ancient, the wine region we know today really only took off in the 1980s. Now its next generation is looking towards Etna’s future, and the Italian Wine Podcast seized the opportunity to share the perspectives of Etna’s emerging new faces, each offering a unique perspective on the wine region’s future.

Traveling to Vigneri di Salvo Foti, we greet a historic winery run by a true trailblazer of Etna wines – Salvo Foti. He was one of the first to recognize the richness and promote Etna’s winemaking traditions and terroirback in the 80s. His dedication to Etna brought the region to the forefront as a highly regarded winemaking zone, especially through the area’s beloved Nerello Mascalese grape and traditional winemaking tool the palmento. Today, Salvo’s winemaker son Simone and his younger brother Andrea are following in their father’s footsteps.

The Italian Wine Podcast interviewed Simone, exploring his perspective growing up in the shadows of Mount Etna. He is passionate about Etna’s unique edge on sustainability, employing one of its most unique and ancient features – the palmento. The palmento is a winemaking tool for processing and crushing grapes without the need for electricity. Foti is enthusiastic about making wines for years to come using the palmento: “Today, the palmento represents the sustainable way of production. We want to give continuity and represent the oldest winemaking way of Etna.”

External influences are also re-defining the identity of Etna wines. Stef Yim hails from California but has called Etna home since he launched the Sciara Winery in 2014. The Italian Wine Podcast’s interview with Yim highlighted how his low-intervention, high-altitude wines nod to the future of sustainable winemaking in the appellation. Some of his wines do not even meet the DOC requirements, surpassing Consorzio’s altitude limit of 1100 meters.

Looking beyond winemaking, the Italian Wine Podcast dove into the marketing side of things as well, with 22-year-old Salvo Neri, the next generation of Neri – a four-star luxury hotel, agriturismo, and now, winery. Neri’s heart is in developing the winery’s global brand image and that of Etna itself: “I like meeting new people to enrich myself and return to Linguaglossa with new ideas to contribute and enrich our territory and culture, to create a new generation of people to increase activities in our territory,” explains Neri.

With these voices decorating Etna’s contrade, we can only be excited about this region’s future. To stay updated on the next generation of Etna (and other compelling Italian wine regions), tune into the Italian Wine Podcast – a leading wine communication platform and the only wine podcast that airs every day. The Next Generation, hosted by Victoria Cece, focuses specifically on the young voices defining the future of the Italian wine industry.

June 15, 2023
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