Tornatore own 110 hectares of land on the northern side of Mount Etna, of which 60 hectares are vineyards. This means that Tornatore’s vineyards are one of the largest in the Etna DOC production area. The Tornatore family have accumulated detailed knowledge of the territories here over the years, and are able to produce quality wines thanks to the combination of soil, climate and the skill of their winemakers.
The Tornatore family dates back to 1865, when the great grandfather of the current owner began farming and cultivating grapes.
In 1910, Grandfather Giuseppe built a house with a millstone in the district of Piano Fiera with adjacent 2 hectares of vineyards in addition to another 2 hectares on the North side of the Etna, in the district of Piano Felci at 1,000 metres above sea level.
The Tornatore family has a detailed knowledge of the territories in Castiglione di Sicilia since Grandfather Giuseppe and Uncle Giovanni were appointed as land registry makers at the beginning of the 30s. They accompanied the surveyor to detect cadastral parcels, to define boundaries and names of the local districts.
In that same period, an oil-mill was constructed annex to the winery, which has been active through all technological evolutions until the 70s.
Thus the Family has deep roots in their territory of origin, and following generations never neglect in their affection and respect to it and to traditions.
Vineyards and Territory
Tornatore lies in the northern side of Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. The soils have volcanic origin and are derived from the disintegration of the masses of lava, ashes and lapilli.
Generally, these soils are formed on site (native) or are carried by rainwater, but are deep and very fertile. The climate on the northern side of the Etna is characterised by mild temperatures, reflecting the influence of the mountain reliefs from that side (Nebrodi). The result is a late maturing environment and the predominant altitude promotes strong thermal excursions.
The combination of soil, climate and the skill of the winemakers, have made the northern slope of Etna an ideal area for the production of high-quality wines.
Tornatore's vineyards cover several locations in different districts: the remarkable contrade of Bragaseggi, Piano dei Daini, Zottorinotto, Pietrarizzo, Malpasso, Pietramarina, Torre Guarino, Carranco and Trimarchisa, all in the Castiglione di Sicilia Municipality.
Altitudes range from 550–700 metres above sea level and the age of the vineyards vary from 3–40 years for the Reds and 3–10 years for the Whites. Particular attention has been paid to the processing of their vineyards. A high number of vines per hectare (approx. 6,000) has been maintained and an upwards-trained vertical-trellised system has been selected with 3/4 cordon spurs.
The existing vines are Etna’s native in compliance with the rules of Etna DOC wines production.
Harvest and winemaking
The grape harvest is done by hand. Subsequently transported in special crates, the grapes are vinified in a modern winery capable of maintaining high standards of quality, with maximum respect for the tradition. The grapes are selected and processed manually in order to better enhance the characteristics of each vineyard.
Aged in oak barrels located in completely buried rooms, with insulation made of Etna basalt blocks arranged on the walls and floor of the cellar in a workmanlike manner. The wines produced are all DOC wines: Etna Red, White, Rosé and Sparkling.
The winery has the latest modern equipment, but wine is made with low environmental impact and maximum respect for the surroundings. Renewable energy sources are used to operate the winery in order to lower its environmental impact.