Pirrera IGT Terre Siciliane
90% Nerello Mascalese/10% other local varieties (both red and white). Pirrera is a single site at the very high altitude of 850 meters on the north side of Mt. Etna; the name Pirrera is rooted in the particularly rocky nature of the vineyard, stemming from the volcanic stones quarried from a 1614 lava flow. It had been abandoned long ago, prior to Eduardo's taking on its rehabilitation. The vines average about 50 years old, are planted albarello-style and are harvested at least a week later than the fruit for his Versante Nord bottling, due to the slower ripening at this elevation. The sandy soils are rich in volcanic ash as well as stones. In true traditional style, the vineyard is a mixed planting of various local white and reds. The reds include Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Alicante and Garnacha; the whites include Minnella, Catarratto, Grecanico and Inzolia. The juice is fermented spontaneously with some whole clusters and macerates with the skins for 15 days in cement tank without temperature control; the wine is aged 16 months in 7.5-hectoliter Slavonian oak botti. Minimal sulfur is used: from none to 2-3 mg at harvest and only 1 mg. at bottling.