Girolamo Russo, 'A Rina Etna Rosso

Girolamo Russo

Etna Rosso
The Etna Red 'A Rina by Girolamo Russo is one of those wines absolutely to try and learn. Girolamo Russo has obtained the organic certification a few years ago and he make more attention to detail: for Girolamo Russo, graduated in piano, wine is a symphony, is a melody, is a set of notes that must be in harmony with each other. Vines grow on the north slopes of Etna, on volcanic and sandy soil, rich of minerals, ranging from 50 to 100 years old and giving a wine of incredible minerality and perfumes. Also, vineyards are located at an altitude between 650 and 800 meters above sea level, this cooling effect contributes to build a nice aromatic concentration. This Etna Rosso has good complexity, with a softly tannic finish which helps to create a wine of great persistence.
Nerello Mascalese
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The Etna DOC is an Italian wine appellaton which covers the slopes of Mount Etna, the 3330 meter (10,920ft) active volcano that dominates the northeastern corner of Sicily. The most commonly produced form of Etna wine is Etna Rosso, a red made predominantly from the Nerello Mascalese grape variety with up to a 20 percent addition of Nerello Cappuccio.

Nerello Mascalese is the main red variety of Etna. It’s usually blended with another Nerello, that is Nerello Capuccio. Both are late ripening and high on tannin, that is perfect for ageing wines. However, Nerello Mascalese has thicker skins, thus higher tannins, darker fruits on the nose and palate. While Nerello Capuccio adds elegance to its’ serious ‘cousin’, light perfume and sharp acidity. Fresh and energetic Etna Rosso typically displays notes and aromas of dark fruit and spices. They usually have balanced tannins and bright acidity, which makes them work well with various dishes. They naturally pair with dishes based on tomato sauce, but they can also match traditional Sicilian fish and meat specialities.

The Etna Bianco (Etna white) wines must have a minimum of 60 percent Carricante, a little-known, indigenous white variety that is grown exclusively in the Etna region. While 40 percent of the blend can consist of other authorized local white varieties, some of the best Etna Bianco wines are made entirely of Carricante.



Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Blessed with consistently bright sunshine and reliably moderate rainfall, the classic Mediterranean climate is ideally suited to the needs of wine-bearing grape vines. The soils, and the mountains from which they came, are of particular interest when it comes to studying Sicilian viticulture.

Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano at 10,930ft (3330m), is responsible for the mineral-rich, dark soils which characterize the Etna DOC. Vineyards are now being planted higher up on the volcanic slopes, to capitalize on the cooler air and richer soils there. Fifty miles (80km) south, the Iblei Mountains stake their place in eastern Sicilian wine. On their lower slopes and the coastal plains below them, the DOCs of Siracusa, Noto and Vittoria sweep from east to west, forming a crescent which mirrors the arcing coastline.

Wine Appellations

IGT: Sicilia; Terre Siciliane; Avola

DOC: Etna; Noto; Marsala; Pantelleria; Sicilia; Vittoria

DOCG: Cerasuolo di Vittoria Indigenous Grapes varieties White: Carricante; Cataratto; Grillo; Inzolia; Malvasia delle Lipari; Zibibbo Red: Alicante; Frappato; Grecanico; Nerello Mascalese; Nerello Cappuccio; Nero d’Avola; Perricone; Syrah

Grape Varieties

In terms of red-wine varieties, the most common after Nero d'Avola is Grecanico, accompanied by small quantities of Alicante (Grenache), Perricone, and Frappato, the latter being the key ingredient in Sicily’s only DOCG wine Cerasuolo di Vittoria. Sibling varieties Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio are also small players in terms of volume, but are of vital importance around Mount Etna. In regard of white wines the principal grape varieties are: Cataratto, Inzolia, Grillo, and Carricante