There’s Exciting Wine to Discover on the Mountain

iwinetc-grand-tasting-2017 etna winesEtna Wine is on a roll ticking all the boxes: distinctive indigenous grape varieties, cool-climate conditions at altitudes between 400m to1,100m; myriad soil types from volcanic ash and pumice to patches of limestone and sand; terraced slopes and even some pre-phylloxera vineyards.

During the International Wine Tourism Conference Sicily 2017(IWINETC), key note speaker, Susan Hulme MW will deliver a talk titled Red Hot Rosso’s & Cooled down Biancos followed by Wines of Etna Grand Tasting featuring wines made from indigenous red grape varieties Nerello Mascalese & Nerello Cappuccio and whites grape varieties: Carricante & Catarratto.

About Susan

Susan Hulme MW is a British Master of Wine and an Italian Wine specialist living in the UK.

In the past Susan has lived and worked in Italy, in Sicily, Bari, Naples and Tuscany. She became a Master of Wine in 2005. She won the Madame Bollinger Tasting Medal, awarded for an outstanding performance in the tasting part of the Master of Wine examination.

Susan Hulme MW speaker at IWINETC Sicily 2017Most recently Susan was the Italian Wine Reviewer for LePan Media, a website and magazine based in Hong Kong.

Susan is also involved in wine consultancy, wine judging and wine education. She is responsible for co-ordinating the European course days for second year MW students in the UK.  She has been a panel judge for the International Wine Challenge (IWC) for the last 10 years and was a judge for Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) as well as having been invited as a guest judge at many international competitions.

Susan is also a former chairman of the Association of Wine Educators (AWE) and has been the editor of the AWE Newsletter ‘AWE Inspiring News’ since 2005.

Since 2007 she has been on the Institute of Masters of Wine Events Committee, organising events such as the Madam Bollinger tasting and Languedoc-Roussillon event.

Aside from wine reviewing and wine writing, Susan runs her own education and consultancy company, Vintuition Ltd, based in Windsor, UK and provides all kinds of training and wine courses for the trade and members of the public.

Susan is one of 4 key note speakers at IWINETC and will blend with  Mai Tjemsland MW, Judith LewisRobin Shaw as 2017 Keynotes. The 2017 Sicily Conference will include around 30 talks classified in one of the following areas:

  • Professional Development: Expert advice & insight into enhancing our career in the wine tourism industry
  • Research: Trends and predictions on aspects of wine tourism
  • Branding & Marketing: These sessions are certain to give you ideas to improve your business
  • Grape Escape Destinations: Key sessions dedicated to tour operators and travel agents
  • Network & Connect: Formal & Informal presentations usually including wine tasting

Join us March 28 & 29, 2017

Registering for IWINETC is the only way to experience these fantastic speaker sessions. Registration is open  – start planning today by browsing attendance options to find the perfect fit for you and/or your business.Stay on a couple of days more and visit some of the Etna producers included in the Grand Tasting. Tour 1: Discover the picturesque slopes of Etna and Tour 2:  All aboard the Etna Wine Train to track down the perfect vintage

Many more speakers will be announced later in December – so stay tuned and follow us on Twitter. Get ready for the most explosive IWINETC experience yet!

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Digital Integration in the Wine Travel & Tourism Industry

Announcing the first wave of speakers for the IWINETC 2017! We are thrilled to reveal the blend of  Mai Tjemsland MW, Susan Hulme MW, Judith Lewis & Robin Shaw as 2017 Keynotes. The 2017 Sicily Conference will include around 30 talks classified in one of the following areas:

  • Professional Development: Expert advice & insight into enhancing our career in the wine tourism industry
  • Research: Trends and predictions on aspects of wine tourism
  • Branding & Marketing: These sessions are certain to give you ideas to improve your business
  • Grape Escape Destinations: Key sessions dedicated to tour operators and travel agents
  • Network & Connect: Formal & Informal presentations usually including wine tasting

We are thrilled to feature Judith Lewis as one of the four keynote speakers. Here’s a taste of two talks to look forward to:

Digital Integration in Wine Travel & Tourism: Strategies for Success

With restrictions and limitations on advertising, as well time, is it worthwhile to put so much effort into digital within the wine tourism sector? In this session you will learn how to create efficiencies in your digital marketing efforts including which channels to focus on as a travel and tourism professional, when and why. You will be introduced to tools and planning ideas to help you focus your marketing efforts in the right way specifically for the wine tourism market which requires a different approach than some other verticals. You’ll get tips on how to win at social media, where to invest in advertising for efficiencies and how to make your travel and tourism website more visible. This session will include plenty of recommendations to help you advance your digital marketing efforts which you will be able to implement straight away.

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Connecting Your Tourism Brand to the Consumer

Understanding where a wine tourism consumer is open to encountering your brand is one of the easiest and yet most difficult things to get right. From understanding where receptivity to receiving a travel and tourism marketing message begins (well before the search) and ends (once trust with a site is established – not after booking), through to identifying those opportunities within the online travel and tourism marketplace, planning your route to market can suddenly seem less clear. In this session we’ll investigate the specific digital touch points best aligned with the wine travel and tourism vertical your business could leverage, how consumers interact with those touch points during their journey to selecting a grape escape destination and then a package, and finish with where traveller interaction may be headed in the future. This session is best suited to those wine and culinary tourism businesses who are looking to develop a future-proof digital market approach and better understand the opportunities which are overlooked by many travel and tourism operators/agents.

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About Judith

Judith Lewis ponenete at IWINETC 2016Judith Lewis is the founder of the deCabbit Consultancy specialising in integrated digital marketing consultancy and execution. She is a specialist integrated online marketer with skills in SEO, PPC, and Social Media Marketing as well as other digital marketing techniques. She has been doing SEO since before it had a name and has worked both in-house and agency-side.

She has judged both UK & EU Search Awards, is a founding everywoman Modern Muse and is the coordinator for London Girl Geek Dinners.  Having both an in-house and agency background, her clients have included Google, Virgin, NSPCC, Zopa, Slendertone, the Guggenheim, SAP, Amadeus, Blue Cross, & ShareThis.

Judith writes for the SEO Chicks and Mostly About Chocolate as well as the Huffington Post.  She speaks at various conferences around the world and is passionate about teaching and helping businesses large and small (as well as chocolate)

Join us March 28 & 29, 2017

Registering for IWINETC is the only way to experience these fantastic speaker sessions. Registration is open  – start planning today by browsing attendance options to find the perfect fit for you and/or your business.

Many more speakers will be announced in December – so stay tuned and follow us on Twitter. Get ready for the most explosive IWINETC experience yet!

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Wine Tourism Lessons From Down Under

Announcing the first wave of speakers for the IWINETC 2017! We are thrilled to reveal the blend of  Mai Tjemsland MW, Susan Hulme MW, Judith Lewis & Robin Shaw as 2017 Keynotes. The 2017 Sicily Conference will include around 30 talks classified in one of the following areas:

  • Professional Development: Expert advice & insight into enhancing our career in the wine tourism industry
  • Research: Trends and predictions on aspects of wine tourism
  • Branding & Marketing: These sessions are certain to give you ideas to improve your business
  • Grape Escape Destinations: Key sessions dedicated to tour operators and travel agents
  • Network & Connect: Formal & Informal presentations usually including wine tasting

We are thrilled to feature Robin Shaw as one of the four keynote speakers. Here’s a taste of two talks to look forward to:

Are we there yet? Australia’s Wine Tourism (R)Evolution. (Research)
From the days of meat pies and Holden cars, where city folk visited wineries to stock up on bulk wine and top up their port barrels, to the current landscape of sophisticated winery dining and pretty young things in limousines, Australia has journeyed far.  And while domestic visitors are flocking to the nation’s wine regions, the perception of Australia as a genuine culinary tourism destination still raises the eyebrows of many prospective international visitors.  But the cork is well and truly out of the bottle and some savvy marketing campaigns are now shining a very bright light on the nation’s wine tourism offerings – with some startling results.

clare-valleyBeyond the Cellar Door: Creating a Destination in your own right! (Branding & Marketing)

It’s no longer good enough to simply hang out a shingle and expect visitors to flock to your door – regardless of your brand’s popularity in the marketplace.  In fact, it is often the brand’s popularity with consumers that has led some of the New World’s best known brands to create all-encompassing visitor destinations and genuine experiences that go well beyond the humble wine tasting.  Using contemporary case studies from Australia and South Africa, find out how modest family brands have truly embraced the ‘wine tourism’ concept to create exceptional businesses.
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About Robin

Robin Shaw speaker at IWINETC Sicily 2017Robin is passionate about all things wine and tourism and is widely regarded as Australia’s leading wine tourism development specialist.  Her experience extends across sales, marketing, business development and operational roles with companies such as Pernod Ricard, South Australian Tourism and Winemakers’ Federation of Australia.  Awarded a prestigious Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2004 to study wine tourism innovation, Robin used the information gained to develop a series of workshops and resources which she has successfully delivered in Australia, South Africa and Chile.  Robin’s company, Wine Tourism Australia, works with wineries, tourism operators and regions to maximise their destination appeal and deliver memorable visitor experiences.  She also hosts wine tourism study tours for industry professionals to locations in South Africa and Australia that epitomise best practice and service excellence and develops leisure packages to some of the world’s best wine regions. A dynamic and entertaining presenter, she is regularly engaged as a speaker and facilitator at wine and tourism industry conferences.

Join us March 28 & 29, 2017

Registering for IWINETC is the only way to experience these fantastic speaker sessions. Registration is open  – start planning today by browsing attendance options to find the perfect fit for you and/or your business.

Many more speakers will be announced in December – so stay tuned and follow us on Twitter. Get ready for the most explosive IWINETC experience yet!

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IWINETC 2017 Dream Team of Keynote Speakers Announced

IWINETC Sicily conference to feature Mai Tjemsland MW, Susan Hulme MW, Judith Lewis & Robin Shaw.

The International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition & Workshop  (IWINETC) announces its dream team lineup of keynote speakers for the IWINETC 2017 Conference, to be held March 28 – 29 in Sicily’s Catania region. Be challenged and inspired by IWINETC’s dream team speakers.

 

Robin Shaw speaker at IWINETC Sicily 2017Robin Shaw

Robin is passionate about all things wine and tourism and is widely regarded as Australia’s leading wine tourism development specialist.  Her experience extends across sales, marketing, business development and operational roles with companies such as Pernod Ricard, South Australian Tourism and Winemakers’ Federation of Australia.  Awarded a prestigious Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2004 to study wine tourism innovation, Robin used the information gained to develop a series of workshops and resources which she has successfully delivered in Australia, South Africa and Chile.  Robin’s company, Wine Tourism Australia, works with wineries, tourism operators and regions to maximise their destination appeal and deliver memorable visitor experiences.  She also hosts wine tourism study tours for industry professionals to locations in South Africa and Australia that epitomise best practice and service excellence and develops leisure packages to some of the world’s best wine regions. A dynamic and entertaining presenter, she is regularly engaged as a speaker and facilitator at wine and tourism industry conferences.

Mai Tjemsland MW speaker at IWINETC Sicily 2017Mai Tjemsland MW

Mai holds a Bachelor degree in Business Economy from Oslo and has worked for over 25 years as a manager with varying roles within the hospitality business, including positions at the Norwegian Embassy in Paris, Marriott Marquis in the US, the QE2, SAS Airlines and has owned a group of restaurants in Oslo for over a decade.

She became certified Sommelier in 1996, WSET Diploma in 2004 and Master of Wine in 2009. She now works as a lecturer teaching WSET Diploma students, Master of Wine students in Italy and London and conducts tastings and Masterclasses for international producers and importers and is a frequent speaker at key trade events.

She is also the Portfolio Manager and headbuyer for new wines for the Autentico Group in Norway

Mai is is passionate about wine and travel and shares her experiences by feature writing in key consumer publications and commute between her home I Trapani, Sicily and Oslo office.

Judith Lewis speaker at IWINETC 2016Judit Lewis

Judith is the founder of the deCabbit Consultancy specialising in integrated digital marketing consultancy and execution. She is a specialist integrated online marketer with skills in SEO, PPC, and Social Media Marketing as well as other digital marketing techniques. She has been doing SEO since before it had a name and has worked both in-house and agency-side.

She has judged both UK & EU Search Awards, is a founding everywoman Modern Muse and is the coordinator for London Girl Geek Dinners.  Having both an in-house and agency background, her clients have included Google, Virgin, NSPCC, Zopa, Slendertone, the Guggenheim, SAP, Amadeus, Blue Cross, & ShareThis.

Judith writes for the SEO Chicks as well as the Huffington Post. She speaks at various conferences around the world and is passionate about teaching and helping businesses large and small. Judith will deliver two highly relevant and extremely important talks for the today and future of the wine and culinary tourism industry.

Susan Hulme MW speaker at IWINETC Sicily 2017Susan Hulme MW

Susan is involved in wine consultancy, wine judging and wine education. She is responsible for co-ordinating the European course days for second year MW students in the UK.  She has been a panel judge for the International Wine Challenge (IWC) for the last 10 years and was a judge for Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) as well as having been invited as a guest judge at many international competitions.Susan is also a former chairman of the Association of Wine Educators (AWE) and has been the editor of the AWE Newsletter ‘AWE Inspiring News’ since 2005.Since 2007 she has been on the Institute of Masters of Wine Events Committee, organising events such as the Madam Bollinger tasting and Languedoc-Roussillon event.

Additional details about IWINETC 2017 are available on the conference website. Registration & accommodation are currently available.Call for speakers ends 30 November

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For more information about IWINETC 2017, contact Anthony Swift  or +34 93 897 70 48

Discovering Etna’s Volcanic Wines

When it comes to planting vines one of the last places you may want to consider is planting them on the slopes of an active volcano. Recent outbursts of Sicily’s Mount Etna provide sound arguments for this with lava flows wiping out precious vines within minutes. So why do it?

Etna wines to speak loudly at IWINETC Sicily 2017

Perhaps wine makers are motivated by the fact that volcanic wines are highly terroir- orientated as bedrock, soils, drainage and microclimates are highly diverse which in turn would make it impossible to make stylistic generalizations about wines grown on the flanks of an active volcano.

Discovering DOC Etna Wines at IWINETC Sicily

Such is the case of the wines produced on the slopes of UNESCO site Mount Etna. Talking with DOC Etna wine makers on a recent visit to Etna,  Volcanic wines seems to be synonymous with individual wines. The Consorzio di Tutela dei Vini Etna D.O.C kindly convened  several producers  together at the Consorzio’s President winery, Tenute Mannino di Plachi  and we were invited to have this demonstrated in a tasting of wines made from indigenous grape varieties namely Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Carricante and Catarate

Discovering DOC Etna Wines at IWINETC Sicily

The wines tasted were as follows:

Tenute Nicosia – Etna Bianco 2011 – 80% Carricante & 20%  Catarratto 12 months French Oak

Eucalyptus, lemon grass and fennel on the nose. Fresh entrance. Creamy texture, citrus palate, and a firm mineral edge on the palate, which has balanced acidity and a lingering finish.

Benanti Winery Etna Bianco 2014 100% Carricante

Intense, fruity and citrus like aromas. Palate is fresh with just enough acidity to balance the creamy texture. Medium finish.

Benanti Winery Pietra Marina 2012 100% Carricante

Crisp and positive with lemon zest and a hint of anise and almond. Wiffs of sulphur on the nose. Long mineral edge to the finish.

Discovering DOC Etna Wines at IWINETC Sicily

Tenute Mannino di Plachi  Etna Bianco 2013 95% Carricante & 5%  Catarratto

Lemon grass on the nose. Concentrated, weighty but vibrantly fresh on the palate. Pleasant lingering finish.

Tenuta di Fessina Puddara 100% Carricante 9 months in Chestnut barrels

Fragrant baked apples with underlying anise and citrus notes. Sensation of honey on the creamy palate Crisp mouth-watering finish.

Terrazze Dell’Etna Ciuri – Blanc de Noir Nerello Mascalese & Carricante

Tropical fruits, barbecued bananas and a hint of wild herb on the nose. Vibrate spicy palate. Pleasant fresh finish which lingers for some time.

Discovering DOC Etna Wines at IWINETC Sicily

Al-Cantàra – Luci Luci 2014 100% Carricante

Honeyed buttery nose with citrus notes. Round palate with citrus deliciousness. Nice texture with a grippy lingering finish.

Romeo del Castello – Vigo 2013 Nerello Mascalese (old vines 70 – 100 years) with a dash of Nerello Cappuccio

Smoky, rich, red fruits of the forest nose followed by a darked fruited palate. Firm dry tannins through a creamy texture. A powerful red calling for red meat!

Tenuta Scilio di Valle Galfina – Valle Galfina 2015 100% Carricante

Intense citrus nose with spice and grass tones with a palate that opens with an explosion of fruit and crisp driving acidity. A bitter almond finish with a subtle hint of liquorice.

From this tasting alone it quickly became apparent that each sub – region of Etna or even a specific vineyard has a distinctive stylistic fingerprint.

The tasting concluded with a light lunch of local culinary delights which provided the opportunity to do some wine and food matching.

Discovering DOC Etna Wines at IWINETC Sicily

The 300 or so conference delegates travelling to attend the 9th Annual International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition & Workshop to be held in Sicily, Italy the 28th & 29th of March 2017 will be able to discover why Etna wines are Italy’s hottest wines right now through tastings at the IWINETC exhibition and at Grand Tasting of Wines of Sicily led by a Master of Wine and through the pre and post conference tours to some of Etna’s diverse vineyards and wineries.

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In no particular order, pictures of some of the wines included in the tasting:

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IWINETC Sicily – 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites not to be missed!

Italy is known for having a vast and immense amount of history and throughout time we have stood side by side these incredible monuments. This country has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country on the planet dating back from centuries ago. The island region of Sicily has seven of these famous sites and if you’re attending the International Wine Tourism Conference in Sicily 2017 you will have the chance to visit some of them.

Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano is an iconic site visible far from it’s base. The history of this volcano can be traced back 500,000 years and about 2,700 years of activity have been documented. Mount Etna is one of the worlds most active volcanos and it is almost always in an active state drawing in thousands of visitors a year.

Etna wines to speak loudly at IWINETC 2017

Drive to the north coast of Sicily and you’ll find the Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalu and Monreale. This site is actually nine sites including two palaces, three churches, a bridge, and three cathedrals which include the Cathedral of Cefalu and the Cathedral of Monreale. This site is a good example of cross cultures between Western Islamic and Byzantine cultures. Many people from different origins and religions called this place home.

GIOVANNI-EREMITI.P IWINETC 2017

A little trip north in the Tyrrhenian Sea you’ll discover the beauty of the Aeolian Islands. These islands are a volcanic archipelago named after the demigods of the winds Aeolus.  Lipari is the biggest out of the eight islands and the group is often called Lipari Islands. The Aeolian Islands provide an outstanding record of volcanic island-building and destruction, and ongoing volcanic phenomena.

Isole Eolie IWINETC

Going towards the south east coast you’ll uncover another historical phenomenon: The Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica. This site consists of two different elements; the Necropolis of Pantalica and Ancient Syracuse. The Necropolis of Pantalica contains over 5,000 tombs cut into the rock. Most dating back from the 13th-7th centuries B.C. Ancient Syracuse was founded by the Greeks and was called “the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of all” by Cicero.

Syracuse and the Necropolis IWINETC

A little south of Syracuse and you stumble upon the Late Baroque towns of Val di’Notto. This site is made up of eight cities that were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building.

Late Baroque Towns of Val IWINETC

Next we will head a little south to the Archaeological Area of Agrigento founded in the sixth century.  Its supremacy and pride are demonstrated by the remains of the magnificent Doric temples that dominate the ancient town, much of which still lies intact under today’s fields and orchards. It was also one of the leading cities in the Mediterranean. The excavated areas expose the late Hellenistic and Roman towns and you can see the old burial practices of its Christian inhabitants.

UNESCO Agrigento IWINETC 2017

Last but certainly not least we end up back near Mount Etna to view the Villa Romana del Casale. Built in the fourth century this estate certainly was one of the most luxurious during that time! In the year 1997 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site for having the most complex collections of Roman mosaics in the world. After a landslide in the 12th century the villa was partially buried and not excavated until 1929 by an Italian archaeologist. Mosaics are all around you as you walk into each room of this Roman mansion. These mosaics were made out of multicolored marble and glass.

The Villa Romana del Casale IWINETC 2017

Discover the UNESCO World Heritage sites and at the 9TH Edition of the International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC) 2017. You won’t be disappointed!

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Lorial Roballo

La Gelsomina Amphitheatre of Vines, A Spectacle to Behold

Maurizio Garozzo Gelsomina winery IWINETC 2017Having just visited the Tenuta Monte Gorna winery, we weaved our way along the side of Etna to rendezvous in Milo with Maurizio Garozzo, Sales Manager of the La Gelsemina winery.

Milo in about 25 kilometres north of Catania.and was the meeting point to head to our second winery visit La Gelsomina. Milo affords great views of the Ionian Sea and Cipolliniif you stop off at the square pop in to the Bar and grab a delicious local delicacy – and a must try snack – Cipollini – a soft pastry filled with tomato, onion and mild cheese Bianca Conversi of the Consorzio Tutela Vini Etna D.O.C and Guglielmo,  guide at Catania based tour company Excursions & Trekking pointed out that sometimes ham is also added as an ingredient.

After washing down the Cipollini with fountain water,  Maurizio turned up to greet us and guide us to his winery. We were also joined by Etnawine Evangelist, Brandon Tokash and his wife and enroute we stopped to pick up the wine makers and at the winery two wine tourists from Tuscany (wine makers also) happen to be around and joined in making a group of 10.

Gelsomina IWINETC 2017La Gelsomina is a young winery at just 30 years old. Back in 1986 the current estate was the weathered remnants of mostly the 1928 Etna eruption with a few landslides thrown in.  Now this 15 hectare estate has been landscape into a huge amphitheatre with Carricante grapes at the back, Pinot Nero in the centre circle and Moscato grapes in the stalls. The side circle seats being taken mostly up by cherry and olive trees. The stage is an artificial lake collecting the little rainfall Gelsomina Azienda IWINETC 2017that the Western Etna slope gets.

Wine tourism plans include renovating a shed into bedrooms for friends and guests and putting a stage over the artificial lake for music concerts and dances on those hot Sicilian summer evenings.

The winery tasting room is also interesting to visit as it hosts an old press allegedly made out of Rowan Mountain Ash (sorbo in Italian) and, being built on the side of a lava flow one can Gelsomina wine tasting IWINETC 2017appreciate the traditional process of wine making from grape delivery and pressing to running off the must into fermentation tanks all working by gravity and without any modern-day pumps.

Wine Tasting

First up was the Rosso da Pesce ( 100% Nerello Mascalese) Attractive floral nose with very well-balanced aromas of wild strawberries and water melon. Crisp fresh fruits balanced by the acidity, which is perfectly integrated. Subtle tannins.

50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016Second up was a possible contender to be amongst the 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World, the Metodo Classico Gelsomina Brut (100% Nerello Mascalese) with just 21 months ageing on the lees. Delicate citrus nose – distinctly grapefruity  with orange blossom. Crisp entrance, smooth mouthfeel. Tangy palate. Admirable finish.

Rosso della Contea (Blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio). Explosion of Smoke and sulphuric on the nose with subtle fruits of the forest and black cherry coming through the smoke. Full-bodied, bright acidity and lovely freshness, underpinned by supple tannins.

La Gelsomina Pinot Noir 2012 IWINETC 2017Last up and my personal favourite was the outstanding Pinot Nero 2012. The nose is full of black cherry and plum with cloves and vanilla which follow through on to the palate with nice tannins. The finish is pleasant. You just have to drink this!

If you’re planning on attending the International Wine Tourism Conference in 2017 you will have the chance to visit both Monte Gorna and Gelsomina as well as many other wineries in the Etna Wine Region.

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