We only grow local vine varieties, from which we obtain cru from our “heroic vineyards”. Our wines are heroic because they are the product of an extreme viticulture, performed in demanding and wild areas at high altitude, in precious patches of land which have been safeguarded during the centuries from the devastating volcanic eruptions, or in plots on steep slopes of ancient extinguished craters. We operate following the teachings of the ancient Etnean agricultural traditions, that keep on living thanks to the passion and the perseverance of many brave winemakers. That’s why we aim at extraordinary wines, precious fruit of our toil and of our unshakable love towards our volcano and its vine varieties.
A love for the Etnean vines, born in 1954
The history of SantaMariaLaNave and our love for the Etnean vines and nature go back to 1954, when our grandfather, Giuseppe Mulone (called Peppino), a gentleman farmer from Regalbuto, in the province of Enna, moved to Catania with his family, looking for better and steadier living conditions. He found his first work on Mount Etna, at Zafferana, where Nonno Peppino took part in the harvests. He was simply fascinated by the fertility of the volcanic soil, by the lushness of the vine varieties and by the magnificence of the grapes. His deep relationship with vines and with Mount Etna went on for several years – until 1980, when his only son left in Sicily, “spared” from the migratory flows that emptied our island of many tireless workers, bought a property on Mount Etna, in the municipality of Viagrande. In that property there was a small and ancient vineyard of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, that Nonno Peppino cultivated with love and passion, taking part in the first harvests and in the vinification, strictly performed using the natural and artisan methods that are typical of the local traditions on Mount Etna.
He passed on that same passion, respect and love to us, proud heirs of Peppino Mulone, who strive to share it with the future generations, with passion and dedication. That’s the soul of our project, SantaMariaLaNave: to pass on this vision from the old to the new generations, safeguarding the precious viticultural heritage of our beloved Mount Etna during the centuries. And even if nowadays the vinification process is more modern and efficient, the care we have towards and the techniques with which we tend to our wines are the same as they were centuries ago. The harvest is handmade, as it was in the past, and we carry it out with the utmost gentleness, preserving every bunch, with the same humility and passion that our ancestors had. Our family today is the keeper and the warrantor of the fundamental principles that gave birth to SantaMariaLaNave – the same principles we learned from the good example of Nonno Peppino.