The Girolamo Russo estate was founded in 2005 by Giuseppe Russo, in memory of his late father. The family are native of Passopisciaro, one of the key villages at the heart of the rebirth of Etna’s most important grape variety, Nerello Mascalese.
This is the north face of Europe’s largest active volcano, Mount Etna, in the north-eastern corner of Sicily. The Russos have 26 hectares of land in and around Passopisciaro, with 15 hectares of vineyards surrounded by olive and hazelnut groves. The vineyards are high up, between 650 and 780 metres above sea level, inland from the beautiful town of Taormina. Many of the free-standing bush vines are over 80 years old, surviving in harmony with Etna’s black, mineral-rich volcanic soil.
Giuseppe works the vineyards organically and makes the wines himself. He vinifies each parcel separately, seeking out their individual identities in a series of wines that reflect the diverse character of their terroirs.
An attention to detail that, apart from leading the company to obtain organic certification for the methods and techniques used, has led the company to be a point of reference in the production of wine, with special reference to Etna red.
Giuseppe Russo bottles Etna Rosso in three different versions (the first released vintage was 2005). The vineyards extend for 15 hectares and stand in three districts (contrade): S. Lorenzo (8 hectares, 750-780 meters altitude), Feudo (6 hectares, 650-670 m altitude) and Feudo di Mezzo (1 hectare at 700 meters altitude).
From one of Etna’s best vineyards, the 2013 Etna Rosso San Lorenzo opens to a luminous ruby color and immediate aromatic purity. It reveals forest berry, rose petal, crushed mineral, brimstone, volcanic ash and dried tobacco leaf. San Lorenzo promises a great sense of territory and volcanic intensity. The results are balanced, pure and elegant. In the mouth, the wine boasts a long, silky texture. [92 Points, Monica Larner – September 2015, robertparker.com]