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Volcanic Wine: A Hot Topic

Volcanic Wine: A Hot Topic

You must be crazy to become a winemaker, the time and work involved in both the vineyards and the wine cellar will make your nine-to-five gig look like a walk in the park. For winemakers, there are no weekends or holidays; the vines don’t wait.

The good news is that all the hard work pays off most extraordinarily. You can smell and taste it in every glass of wine. If tending vines and making wine is hard work, imagine doing it at the foothills of an active volcano. But where some see crazy, others see passion, and what’s wine without passion?

What are Volcanic Wines?

Grapevines are moody and picky; they won’t grow anywhere. Unlike most other crops on the planet, to grow grapes you need poor soils lacking nutrients. “The vines must suffer” say grape growers around the world, and they’re right.

The gnarly vines have another unique trait — they reflect their surroundings and their terroir. The climate, the sunshine, and the soil where the vines grow are expressed through their grapes. Close your eyes and you can taste the place from where your wine comes from.

With vineyards along the steep foothills of Mount Vesuvius, the active volcano located near Naples, Cantina Del Vesuvio owns some of the most extreme pieces of land on earth for cultivating wine, but the terroir is most rewarding.

The Fraternity of Volcanic Winemakers

Only 1% of the world’s vineyards are planted in volcanic soils, and fewer lay under the shadow of an active volcano. Greece has the Santorini, Spain has its Canary Islands, Sicily has Mount Etna, and Campania has its dark soils around the Vesuvius.

Minerality is a common trait in volcanic wines, and so is a lovely fruit-forward, textural profile, but there is even more than that. Volcanic viticulture is a statement: the best grapes grow in volcanic soils, and someone has to help them fulfill their destiny and become fantastic wine. High risk equals high reward.

Taste Volcanic Wines

The Russo family has been cultivating grapes on the volcanic slopes of Mount Vesuvius since 1930. They grow Piedirosso, Caprettone and Aglianico. These are ancient varieties that have adapted to the altitude and porous volcanic soils for centuries.

These indigenous grapes, rarely found elsewhere, are the foundation for creating fabulous wines with their unique volcanic personality. Red, white, rosé and the region’s specialty labeled Lacryma Christi, come from volcanic black vineyards up to 900 ft above the Naples Bay.

Mount Vesuvius last erupted in March 1944, it’s better known for burying the city of Pompeii in 79 AD. The vines tended by the Russo's are certainly a risky proposition, but the passionate winemakers wouldn’t have it any other way. The joy of tasting and sharing their wines with their visitors; the thrill of tasting volcanic terroir in every drop is worth the trouble.

There is no better way to enjoy a glass of our wine than with the beautiful Mt. Vesuvius towering in the background horizon and the warm soils below your feet. Come join us - we look forward to having you!

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