Versante Nord is 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Capuccio and comes from two parcels (Pietramarina and Crasa) totaling 1.5 hectares on the cooler, north-facing side of Mt. Etna (hence the wine’s name). Sandy, volcanic-ash-rich soils lie over a sedimentary mother rock. The vines average 45-50 years old, with the oldest of about 80 years, which yield less but more concentrated fruit. The wine offers a haunting nose of crushed cherry and mineral, which leads to bigger and more intense flavors of dark cherry and plum that is intense and pure. While the fruit is powerful, it is lifted by a nice mineral undertone.
The wine is made in the most traditional and natural manner. 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 Slavonian oak botti. Minimal sulfur is used: from none to 2-3 mg at harvest and only 1 mg. at bottling.