Marco de Grazia, the famous owner of Tenuta delle Terre Nere, founded Le Vigne di Eli in 2006 and dedicated it to his little girl, Elena, who designs the labels for each edition
The small property is located on the northern slope of Mount Etna and, as Marco says:
“It was born effortlessly. A simple gesture of love for my little girl, Elena (Eli). It happened in 2006. I was offered to buy two small vineyards, from two exceptional areas: Feudo di Mezzo and Moganazzi-Voltasciara. I bought them and because they were so small and delicate, they reminded me of Eli. This is how Le Vigne di Eli was born. The idea to use Elena’s drawings on labels came naturally, because I like them very much. Equally natural came the idea that this vineyard dedicated to a child should help children in need. And so, a substantial part of the proceeds from here go to the Meyer Pediatric Hospital in Florence.
Over time, seeing the appreciation that Eli’s beautiful wines enjoy, we selected a few plots of exceptional quality that we rented to produce other beautiful wines. Among them, a wonderful Etna Bianco, from a vineyard in Milo. I am sure that in the future I will be tempted by other rare plots.”
The weather on the slopes of Europe’s largest and very much active volcano is unique in Sicily’s panorama. The elevated altitudes dedicated to viticulture start at 400 metres above sea level, sometimes reaching above 1,000 metres.
These heights are characterized by temperature ranges between day and night that often register up to 30 degrees Celsius. Equally remarkable are the volcanic soil dynamics, created by lava flows, each flow a complex mineral entity in its own right.
Apply all the above to that “belt” that is Etna D.O.C., with a volcanic circumference of about 120 square kilometers and exposure that range from full south to full north and everything in between. Then weave into the tapestry an average rainfall six to ten times that of the Sicilian norm, a relevant part of which occurs during by far the latest harvest in Sicily, and, indeed, one of the latest in Europe.
2019 Etna Rosso
98% Nerello Mascalese 2% Nerello Cappuccio
2016 Etna Bianco
2019 Etna Rosso
100% Nerello Mascalese
2017 Etna Rosso
100% Nerello Mascalese – 91+ Points – Vinous
This wine comes from a small vineyard in the Moganazzi Volta Sciara district in the municipality of Castiglione di Sicilia, on the north side of Etna, at an average height of 650m above sea level.
Both Nerello strains were planted in 1950.
The wine reflects the character of the vintage, 2017, which brings lots of tannic structure and powerful bouquets. The cru, a small parcel of Alberello of over 70 years, has a very peculiar terroir made by a topsoil of ashes and pebbles and the rest is a plateau of rocks: the wine shows both these facets, with a beautiful, cherry-like fragrance on the nose and a great tension in the palate. Great with bolognese ragout, lasagne, lamb, game.
These are truly fine wines that showcase the freshness, delicacy, and complexity that inspire the best Etna wines to be compared to the great Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo producers of the world. Like the wines of Terre Nere, the wines of Le Vigne di Eli are produced from organically farmed vineyards and fermented without inoculations.