Etna itself flows in the lymph of the Cottanera vineyards. With its pioneer viticulture, Cottanera is one of the most extraordinary companies in Italian and international enology today. The vineyards grow over lava stone, 700 mts above the sea, on the northern slope of the volcano, rising and twisting with air of the volcano, becoming the mirror of a unique, precious territory, a fascinating, suggestive land.
The first to believe in the value of these black lands was Guglielmo Cambria who, together with his brother Enzo, decided at the beginning of the 1990s to convert what was a hazel grove into a great vineyard, starting with international grapes, then moving on to autochthonous grapes, to the traditional grapes grown on Mt. Etna, such as Nerello mascalese, Nerello cappuccio and Carricante. "In looking to the future we can't but consider all that we have received. Land, as I was taught by my father, is invaluable, as it is the beginning of all and is, what we will become".
This is the company philosophy which Guglielmo would often repeat and which he wanted to pass on to his children. Cottanera is a little jewel, of 100 hectacres. Of these, 65 hectares have been vineyarded. The company is in Castiglione di Sicilia, near Catania, along with the winery, where all the phases of production are carried out, from harvesting to bottling.
The name of the company comes from an ancient village that runs alongside the family vineyards, along the banks of the river Alcantara.
Today, after the death of Guglielmo, Cottanera is led by his brother Enzo, and the children of the co-founder: Mariangela, Francesco and Emanuele.
Possessing the tenacity of the volcano, true passion for the land and a particular care for the vineyard, where all work is scrupulously carried out by hand, we find the women, the women of Mt. Etna. At Cottanera, these women are part of the family. For years, a close knit team of 25 women, including mothers and daughters, from 25 to 55 years of age, carry out all the delicate jobs, such as defoliation, thinning, and pruning, up to the harvesting itself.
It is in the harvesting that all their love of the land is expressed. As they blend in amongst the rows and harvest baskets, they chat, sing and smile, recognising the quality of the grapes as they would recognise any of their children, eyes closed. They smile, knowing already that it will be an excellent vintage.