Food & Drink Awards 2021 Page 61 LUX 2021 Food & Drink Awards Sep21174 Based on the island of Sicily, renowned winery Tenuta Delle Terre Nere has put Etna back on the map – not for its volatile volcano, but for its growing reputation as a fine wine destination. We speak to Director, Christian Liistro, to find out more about the firm. Tenuta Delle Terre Nere Best Sustainable Winery 2021 - Sicily & Italian Wine of the Year: Etna Rosso DOC Calderara Sottana Prephylloxera 488 Established by visionary owner, Marco de Grazia, who has an unparalleled history in winemaking and wine business alike, is the result of more than 40 years’ worth of passion and profession in the world of great wines. Director, Christian Liistro tells us more about life on the island and his beloved winery. “Given the extreme climate on the Etna, meticulous care in the vineyard becomes essential to obtain an ideal ripeness,” he explains. “And it is precisely this, a very high concentration in the processing of the vineyards, which distinguishes our estate, and which allows us, then, having a raw material of absolute excellence, a minimum processing in the cellar, aimed above all at ensuring that they express themselves at their best in each wine the characteristics of the vine and its specific microclimate.” It is not just an incredible product which sets the winery aside from others and distinguishes it in such a fiercely competitive marketplace, it is also the work of what Christian refers to as his “great team.” “They are unique, a delicate hand combined with a particular sensitivity to details and nuances. And our ideals, which always oblige us to give the best of ourselves, looking not for what is perfect, but for the ideal link between what nature gives us and what our experience, sensitivity and imagination suggests. This sets us apart. This is what our customers, from the wine lover to the most expert sommelier, loves about us and what we do,” Christian tells us. The skilled and dedicated people who work at Tenuta Delle Terre Nere must have a common framework incorporating quality, detail and ethics. Being widely distributed in more than 90 countries worldwide, it is important that team members are ambassadors of the winery’s culture, its passion and “An extraordinary place. Where nature is lavish but severe. And where I try with all my virtues to express the very refined and multifaceted microcosm of Etna in purity in our wines. All with respect and meticulous care, often heavily manual, always in biological balance.” - Marco de Grazia (Founder) share its drive for excellence. “While technical aspects are indeed important, they can be learned, tuned, and developed, but human and personal skills are what makes a new recruit fit for the job,” says Christian. The wine industry is gaining in terms of overall quality, and this has been the case in Sicily too, where the Etna region certainly has attracted wine lovers and experts alike from all over the world to discover the beauties of its viticulture on an active volcano. Two factors are now heavily affecting this industry: climate change and, of course, the global pandemic. The former is driven by a reaction of natural forces to civilisation-driven pollution and requires change, on one hand, and adaption. In fact, Tenuta Delle Terre Nere – which has always been driven by solid ethical principles - is one of the very few estates who is certified as “sustainable” for its entire operations, trying to play a pivotal role in influencing the diffusion of such practices on the appellation. “The pandemic has played a big role in this too. It has made crystal clear that – even if forced – a new scenario is possible. Where pollution is drastically reduced, consumption too, processes improved, logistics rethought. Many small “conventional” producers have been cut out of the major part of the wine business in the last two years, placing a heavy economic burden on them. Some have abandoned. Some have consolidated. Some found the perfect environment that make them “Classics” in the world of wines. And this had and is having important consequences,” says Christian. Whilst Tenuta Delle Terre Nere has always been pioneering within the Etna Appellation, being the estate, which launched the tagline “The Burgundy of Mediterranean” thus shaping the identity of Etna which introduced the burgundy bottle format, there have been several exciting developments taking place lately which Christian shares. “The VIVA certification by the Minister of Energy Transition has been one of our latest achievements which has set the scene for the future.” “We have just finished building our new hospitality area, consisting of 400sqm with ample porches overlooking the Etna and the Nebrodi and we are on the way to complete a rural museum, a wine library and two small apartments for our most important customers. It is the beginning of a path that will lead our estate to welcome clients from all over the world, clients who look for an outstanding wine experience,” Christian concludes. The winery was recently crowned Best Sustainable Winery 2021 – Sicily in the LUXlife Food and Drink Awards and it’s safe to say its future is looking great. Contact Details Contact: Christian Liistro Company: Tenuta Delle Terre Nere Web Address: