Acosta, Eduardo Torres
- Etna, Sicily, Italy
Thank you to Louis/Dressner for this profile of Eduardo Torres Acosta:
(Click here for LDM's Acosta notes on their website)
Big thanks to Juliette Pope of Bowler Wine, whose diligent note taking helped flesh out this profile. The Quota N notes are verbatim her writing.
Eduardo Torres Acosta, a young winemaker from the Canary Islands, first began working with vines in Tenerife where his father (a local postman) had a small plot of land. In 2012 Eduardo moved to Sicily, where he interned at Azienda Arianna Occhipinti (you may have heard of her). Soon thereafter he got a job as the enologist at Azienda Passopisciaro, one of the pioneers of Etna's new wave of producers. Despite Eduardo’s "outsider" status, he managed to rent several fine parcels on Etna from locals. Up until the 2017 vintage, the grapes were harvested and then trucked to Arianna Occhipinti’s estate in Vittoria. Since the winemaking facility was not on Etna, the wines were not allowed DOC status and simply carry the IGT Terre Siciliane designation. In 2018, Eduardo was able to convert a small Etna garage into a winery but has decided to keep the wines IGT.
Today Eduardo works eight small parcels totaling 4.5 hectares. The main production is a wine called Versante Nord, produced in both white and red. Both wines are sources from six parcels totalling less than two hectares on the cooler, north-facing side of Mt. Etna (hence the name) at elevations ranging from 750 to 950 meters. In traditional style, he vineyards are mixed plantings of various local varieties. The red grapes include a majority of Nerello Mascalese with Nerello Cappuccio, Alicante, Garnacha and others; the whites include Minella, Catarratto, Grecanico, Carricante and Inzolia. The training is mainly alberello, in some cases growing as bushes and in some trained on wires.
Two single vineyards are produced, Pirrera and Quota N, the latter from a vineyard called Germana. Pirrera comes from a single contrada located at 850 meters in altitude. The name of the vineyard, Pirrera, stems from the presence of volcanic stones which were extracted from a quarry during a lava flow in 1614. The vineyard had been largely abandoned and is slowly being restored by Eduardo. Lighter and fresher than the Versante Nord due to the higher altitude, this is a blend of 90% Nerello Mascalese and 10% local varieties from vines of 50 plus years.
Quota N was first bottled in the 2018 vintage. Eduardo acquired this flat, half-hectare, west-exposed parcel of ungrafted (hence piedi franco on label), 80-100-year-old, co-planted bush vines. It is surrounded by stone walls on very rocky, sandy volcanic soils at the high elevation of 1070 meters in the contrada. The parcel is named Germana for its historical family owner, but Eduardo was not allowed to use this and was also not premitted to use the Nave contrada name because the site is too high to fall within DOC Etna Rosso rules. The local road is called strada quota nave and from this phrase, Eduardo pulled the "Quota N" name for the wine. The production is unavoidably miniscule, smaller even than the parcel size would suggest, due to the naturally low yields of these old-timers as well as to holes where they have died or stopped producing.