Federica and Cesare left their life in Catania in 2005 (where she worked as an archery teacher and he as an airline pilot) in search of a simple, peaceful, hard-working lifestyle and purchased this tiny, unique 1.7ha clos planted with 120-140yo vines in the Contrada del Pino.
Located on the slopes of Mount Etna at 800m, uphill from Randazzo, this is the highest altitude at which nerello mascalese and cappucio can reliably and consistently ripen. They also have 400 ancient olive trees (from which they produce three exceptional olive oils from the san benedetto, coratina and brandofino cultivars), chestnut and oak trees, a vegetable garden, sheep, dogs, chicken... Among the vines you also find many fruit trees – cherry, pear, plum, fig, peach, apple. This is Etna in all its pastoral serenity with the sight, scents and sounds of the volcano to stimulate the senses.
Viticulture here eschews herbicides, fungicides, pesticides but they don't follow any prescribed rules. The health of the vineyard is paramount, and they also never buy in rootstock, grafted vines or young plants from nurseries which could introduce problems, instead practising marcottage, when a long branch is buried, sprouts its own root system and forms its own new vine. Moreover, 90% of the vines are planted on their own rather than being grafted onto American rootstock. The vines radiate good health, helped by a mix that Cesare and Federica make themselves from organic fertiliser, cow dung, ash, molasses and minerals, which they ferment then spray.
Winemaking is straight forward, grapes are currently destalked for the red and foot trodden in open vats (but from 2019 all their wines will be made from whole bunches), ageing takes place in old 500ltr barrels for 16 months and bottling is done with partial filtration (just the wine at the bottom of each barrel) and next to no added sulphur up to 2017, none from 2018 onwards.
I Nove Fratelli is made from 120 to 140yo vines on the ancient terraces of a north facing clos at 800m altitude above Randazzo. Working organically and tending the vines meticulously, Cesare and Federica bring in a minute yield (averaging 14hh) into their palmento (winery) and after destalking trod the grapes by foot in ancient vats made of volcanic basalt. An open-air fermentation begins, the cap is punched for a few days, then it’s not touched bar keeping the cap moist for the rest of the cuvaison, after which the wine is decanted off into one 300ltr and five 600ltr barrels, with the solids pressed and added, and the wine then remains until bottling after partial filtration 16 months later. These primitive techniques have changed little since vines first appeared in Contrada Pino in the 9th century, and one can imagine this is what the wine might have tasted like back then. It is a profound Etna Rosso, very close to the grapes, richly flavoured with black cherry, balsamic spices, and a fresh-laid-tar suggestion often found in young Barolo but with a lovely acidity keeping everything in focus. Its gripping, yet silty-fine tannin is a trademark of wines from Contrada Pino and there is much more freshness and energy than you find in many Etna Rosso that weigh in at 15% or more. Very low sulphur level of around 15mg/l total.
We offer next working day delivery for all orders placed before 12pm.
There is no minimum order for delivery
We deliver free to all addresses within 1.5km of the shop. There is a£5charge for orders below £100
STANDARD UK POSTCODES £8 per drop for purchases below £250. Free above.
LONDON SPECIAL DELIVERY - Timed services including same day are possible for customers within the M25. You will be offered options at checkout. Delivery slots of 10-2, 2-6 and 6-10 each day are possible. Please contact the shop if you would like a different slot to those offered.
For deliveries outside of the UK Please contact the shop to get a quote for delivery.
We endeavour always to ensure you receive the wine you have ordered in perfect condition. However there are the odd times when things don’t go to plan - So:
Please contact us immediately should your delivery arrive missing items or containing the wrong bottles. We will send replacements for any items which have not arrived. Please contact us within 48 hours of your parcel arriving as we cannot offer replacements after this time.
We want you to enjoy the wines you have purchased from us. If you find you have bought a case and find the first bottle is not for you we are happy to exchange the wines for something else. All we ask is that you cover the delivery costs for return of the old wine and sending of the new bottles. Please advise of any returns within 14 days of receiving the wines, we are unable to accept after this point.
Sadly, from time to times bottles will develop faults. If you think your wine is corked, oxidised or otherwise faulty please contact us to discuss. We are unable to offer refunds for bottles which have been out of the shop longer than two months as storage conditions are out of our control.
Quick note on Fine Wine purchasing.
When ordering that special bottle of wine it is worth doing a little research before making a purchase. Wine is a living product, which goes through changes and stages of development in the bottle, as well as varying between vintages. If you are considering ordering an older vintage we recommend speaking to a member of staff or using a review site like cellartracker.com to try and get as full a picture as possible of the flavour profile and development of the bottle you are considering.
It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years.