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.
This is an ambitious blend of Carricante (80%), Catarratto, Minnella, Inzolia and Grecanico. Nerina is Giuseppe Russo’s adorable mom (and Girolamo’s widow) who lives in an apartment above the winery and cooks epic dinners and lunches for the winery staff on harvest days. The Girolamo Russo 2021 Etna Bianco Nerina is a charming white wine from volcanic soils with some of the softness and floral intensity of these indigenous grapes and the salty or mineral notes that come thanks to this volcanic territory. Mostly importantly, the easy-drinking quality of this wine makes you yearn for one of Nerina’s family recipes. Some 10,000 bottles were made.