IDDA Etna Rosso is a brand new joint venture between arguably the most famous producer of Barbaresco, Angelo Gaja, and Alberto Graci an ex banker from Milan who has been making wine in Sicily since 2004. Together they own 21 hectares of vineyards in the villages of Belpasso and Biancavilla on Etna, the highest active volcano of Europe.
Angelo Gaja has been intrigued by Etna since being introduced to the region by oenologist Giacomo Tachis in the late 1990s but he was busy with other projects outside of Barbaresco at Ca’Marcanda in Tuscany and Pieve Santa Restituta in Montalcino at the time. However, Gaja was left with a nagging felling that he really wanted to make wine in Sicily and Etna in particular. Gaja and Graci first met in 2015 and quickly bonded, beginning their joint venture in 2016. Currently the wine is made at Alberto Graci’s winery in Passopisciaro but a dedicated winery is scheduled to be built at Belpasso to be used for the 2022 harvest.
The 100% Nerello Mascalese grapes for the IDDA 2017 are sourced from some of the very first vineyards Gaja & Graci purchased which are situated on the south-west slopes of the Etna volcano near the village of Biancavilla and between the altitudes of 630-820 metres above sea level. The soils in Biancavilla are among the oldest of the entire Etna DOC denomination (60.000 years old – Ellittico period) The soil derives from an old lava flow; indeed its colour is lighter than typical, indicating a longer oxidation process. The pebbles are small and round, indicating an older state of decomposition. It is a less fertile soil than Belpasso. After harvest the grapes are fermented and macerated around three weeks partly in oak and partly in concrete vats. This is followed by 24 months of ageing in oak and concrete.
IDDA means “she” in Sicilian dialect and it is the name the locals call Etna.