As one of the world’s most active volcanos, the volatility of Mount Etna means that its shape, height and geology have shifted multiple times due to countless eruptions in the past millennia. One result is the consequent richness and diversity of soil types along its slopes. In addition to having rich soils, the height of Mount Etna, 10,912 feet (3,326 meters) above sea level, combined with its proximity to the Ionian Sea affords this terrain with a massive range of microclimates. This combination makes for a very interesting area for viticulturalists and winemakers and the region has seen new investment from existing wineries (which tend to be small, family-run businesses) and newcomers from mainland Italy and overseas coming to the island to make exciting wines from sites further and further up the mountain.
Since its inception in 1968, the Etna DOC appellation has seen no legislative updates despite numerous changes in winemaking, viticulture, politics, wine markets and consumer preference. This could be due vey little wine being made under this designation that there has been little motivation to spend time and funding on updating these laws. Much of the wine made from Etna region is Etan Rosso
Most commonly made is Etna Rosso or Rosato / Red wines and Rosé wines from Etna based on the Nerello Mascalese grape (minimum 80%), and other non-aromatic grape varieties (no more than 20%), with the Nerello Cappuccio/Mantellato as the most important blender.
Etna Bianco / White wines from Etna are based on the Carricante grape (minimum 60%) with some Catarratto (no more than 40%).