Stop #35 of Sommelier Wine Box (February 2021, led by sommelier Nicola Bettinazzi ) was dedicated to lava wines.
Volcanoes have always been mythical elements. They show the way to sailors, they offer very fertile lands to cultivate, they are unpredictable and dangerous.
Over the millennia, the eruptive activity of volcanoes has shaped the Italian landscape, just think of Lake Bolsena, Vesuvius, Etna...
In addition to the active ones, today in Italy some volcanoes are dormant - that is, they could erupt at any time - and others are extinct (little or completely reshaped). All are characterized by very particular terrains. The volcanic soils, in fact, give the grapes unique characteristics, which are then found in the glass. The lapilli are made up of compounds of silica, iron and magnesium: in this type of soil the vines sink their roots, thus absorbing the "humours" of the volcano. All this gives the wines mineral characteristics, flavor, as well as a pleasant and unmistakable freshness .
HERE ARE THE TERRITORIES WE DISCOVERED IN THIS SELECTION
This area of the Scaligeri Hills sees hills embroidered with ancient pergolas, supported by dry stone walls built with heavy volcanic rocks. The context is extraordinarily spectacular and requires constant care. The soils are mainly made up of basaltic deposits and stratified volcanic rocks.
Val di Cembra, Trentino Alto Adige
The Atesina Porphyry Platform extends in Val di Cembra and Val di Fiemme: the largest porphyry area in Europe. It is an extinct and reshaped volcano. Here, the vineyards are grown on terraces which also enjoy southern exposure.
Colli Albani, Lazio
In the denomination of Olevano Romano there are composite soils in which there are white limestones, marl, clay and materials of volcanic origin deriving from the explosive phases of the Lazio volcano, which is considered dormant.
For the Romans, Ischia was a wine land in all respects. Until the mid-twentieth century, wine was the beating heart of the island's economy. Ischia is to all intents and purposes a dormant volcano. In the 46 square kilometers of total area on the island, many vineyards are on land with slopes that go well over 30%. The technique of terracing with dry stone walls (the parracine ) made of hand-worked stones (such as green tuff, which is found nowhere else in the world, or with other lava materials), has favored the cultivation of areas impervious, which enjoy special microclimates. The soils are very rich in minerals, much loved by the vine.