The most significant and particular feature of the production of the wines of Etna, apart from the beneficial effects of being near the sea and the unique type of volcanic soil, is that the wine-producing area lies on land which is troncoconical, in other words, cone-shaped.
This particular type of land formation has a profound influence on the area’s climate due mainly to the two major factors of altitude and exposure.
Altitude mainly has an impact on the annual, monthly and daily temperature variations which can affect the microclimate by as much 20°C, a phenomenon which of course further affects the various stages of when the grape first blossoms, when it starts to ripen and then when it finally reaches full maturity. Exposure acts on luminosity, thereby mainly influencing the enzyme characteristics which metabolise the acids and sugar levels which in turn have a direct bearing on the quality of the grape. Both these factors, altitude and exposure, combined with the various interactions between them, determine different microclimates.
Exposure to north and north-east heightens the effects of high altitudes and mitigates those of low altitudes. Exposure to east and south-east makes it possible to grow top-quality vines with really excellent results even at high altitudes.
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