Cavaliere, located near Santa Maria di Licodia, in the province of Catania, the southwestern slope of Mount Etna, is one of the most interesting areas of the volcano but also a little known one. The full southern exposure maximizes the hours of sunlight. The distance from the sea, if on one hand mitigates its effects, one the other hand helps to create a dry climate. To these factors should be added the altitude – approximately 3000 feet (900 meters) – which insures notable temperature swings from daytime heat to evening and nighttime coolness. The fine sandy texture of the soil assure an important drainage capacity and the important presence of rock creates a significant and beneficial vine stress.
The Vacirca family of Feudo di Gulfa owns over 37 acres (15 hectares) of land, 25 of which (10 hectares) are planted to vines. Their average age is 40 years and the grape varieties are entirely native Sicilian ones: Carricante, Nerello Mascalese, and Nerello Cappuccio. The property is cited by De Roberto in his “I Vicerè” and previously belonged to Benedictine monks before the passage of the property to the Vacirca in 1870.
The new wine of the house, the DOC Etna Bianco di Gulfa 2013, is a lovely white wine indeed. It is 100% Carricante, still very fresh despite its three years of age, straw yellow in color with greenish highlights. The nose is an ample one with perceptible notes of fruit and flowers, first and foremost yellow apples., orange blossoms, and light hints of vanilla. The palate is supple and sinuous. The contrast between savor, freshness, an mineral tones resolves into a pleasurable harmony and balance. The finish and aftertaste are long and persistent.
Feudo di Gulfa
Via del Bosco, 211 – Contrada Cavaliere
Santa Maria di Licodia (CT)
GPS: 37.646802, 14.911880