Giuseppe Russo has 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.
Traditionally the best system for keeping the vines alive here was to grown them as bush vines, ad alberello: as free-standing ‘little trees’ that could find their own balance in these soils and that are cared for by hand. Each plant is pruned, hoed and tied individually.
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