Contrada Santo Spirito, Passopisciaro, Etna, Sicily
Palmento Costanzo is in the Santo Spirito area of Mount Etna, between Franchetti's infamous Passopisciaro and Marc De Grazia's Tenuta delle Terre Nere. There are few places on earth that the wine world is more excited about.
Founded in 2011, Palmento Costanzo is still relatively new, fortunately their vines are very old and, even better, bush trained. The farm is exactly what owners, Mimmo and Valeria, dreamt of in their search for the perfect place to plan the start of their retirement from a life in industry. The farm is in the Etna national park where the smallest modification must have official approval: from renovating the dry stones walls of the original Palmento (a fermentation cellar, similar to the ‘lagares’ in Porto and Madeira) to improvements made to the ancient terraces carved across the mountain; this estate is a true labour of love.
The family now own seven hectares, home to just under fifty thousand old vines. All are indigenous varieties. The ground is black, typical hard volcanic rock on the north face of Etna, at an altitude of seven hundred and fifty metres. The cellar has been designed to be as gravity efficient as possible; and uses large oak vats (Stockinger and Taransaud Ovum) to handle the best fruit, whereas the earlier vintages used old tonneaux.