The farm and vineyards are located in the Northern valley of the Etna, an active volcano, in Sicily. Nowadays the northern valley is considered as Etna’s top area for single-vineyard (contrada) red wines like the “Côtes-de-Nuits” in Burgundy or Piemonte’s “Barolo” area. The estate’s surface area is approximately 24 hectares, of which 13ha are old vines in the classic free standing alberello training system (Gobelet or bush-vine), 9ha of old vines transformed into modern rows with various width, approximately 2ha of olive growth and the remainder are fruit trees, vegetables and bush. Although Etna has a tradition in high density plantation of vines, Cornelissen seeks to reduce monoculture and has thus interplanted various local fruit varieties which attract bees to regain a complex ecosystem. The new vineyards are planted without grafts, using a selection of our original, ungrafted vines.
Cornelisson’s farming philosophy is based on acceptance of the fact that man will never be able to understand nature’s full complexity and interactions, hence they choose to concentrate on observing and learning the movements of Mother Earth in her various energetic and cosmic passages and prefer to follow her indications as to what to do, instead of deciding and imposing ourselves.
MUNJEBEL® ROSSO VA, CUVÉE VIGNE ALTE
This pure Nerello Mascalese is a blend from our 3 highest vineyards (Vigne Alte): Tartaraci, Monte Dolce, Pettinociarelle. It expresses beautifully the value and precision of the old vines, ungrafted Nerello Mascalese on the high terraces in the Northern valley of Mount Etna. The most Burgundian of all our crus.
From high-altitude vineyards on Etna, the 2016 Munjebel Rosso VA Le Vigne Alte is a delicate and finessed expression. This wine is the most fragile of all. Those vines planted high up the volcano’s flank offer fruit that is characterized by wild berry, blueberry, rose hip and lilac. This wine speaks in a hushed voice, but its message certainly comes across. It flaunts a deeply volcanic identity with smoke, tar and crushed stone. [91 Points, Monica Larner – December 2018, robertparker.com]