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Forjas del Salnés, Jancis Robinson

Spanish wine specialist, ex-sommelier at El Bulli and international wine judge, Ferran Centelles recently wrote an article on Salnés producers and their wines on He says he “had a chance to visit with Rodrigo Méndez of Forjas del Salnés. Méndez, working with Raúl Pérez, was instrumental in protecting the DO’s red wines, releasing the … Read More

Producer Profile, Domaine de Belle Vue

Having joined Winemason in April, I have the joyful task of tasting my way through the portfolio, one wine (sometimes more) at a time! A standout for me, so far, has been La Justice which sent me on a deep dive of Domaine de Bellevue and Muscadet.  Jérôme Bretaudau, a maverick winemaker from Domaine de … Read More

Turner Pageot Visit

It has been a fun and educating week in WineMason when Manu Pageot of Turner Pageot came to visit. For any potential winemakers out there looking to emulate the beauty in each of his wines, the finishing result of Emmanuel’s wines are nowhere near a stroke of luck or the result of some laissez faire … Read More

Meet Barolo Girl

Please meet our latest producer, Giulia Negri. Known as the ‘Barolo Girl’, Giulia is a rising star of the Langhe producing beautifully elegant and pure Nebbiolo. We are so delighted to have gotten our hands on her wine and we can’t wait to share them with you. Giulia is the most recent generation to take … Read More

Basking in Mt. Etna’s Glory

In the (three) words of John Szabo, volcanic wines are salt, grit and power.

I will need more than three words to describe my recent trip to Tenuta delle Terre Nere, which is located in the extraordinary location at the northern slopes of the hyperactive volcano, Mt. Etna. Everyday life round Mt. Etna is dominated by the Volcano, referred to by locals as Mama as she both nurtures and scolds her dependents. Her presence is a constant reminder of the delicate balance between life and death.

I visited 5 vineyards during my visit, each with its own very unique personality.

Santo Spirito 1er Cru
The vineyard comprising of 4 parcels makes up 15 hectares. The age of the vines is between 50-100 years. The rich and fertile soil is sandy and deep, made up of 90% ash. Bowl shaped vineyard fills up with debris and ash nutrients from land above. The vineyards suits the very intense variety Carricante letting it produce ample quantities which allows for the intensity to be diluted somewhat. Find our Etna Bianco, Santo Spirito 2017 here.


Guardiola 1er Cru
Meaning to guard, Guardiola aptly sits above Santa Spirito (800-1000 metres above sea level). Here the soil becomes steadily poorer with a high proportion of pebbly basalt along with sand and ash which tends to get washed down to Santo Spirito below. The style of (red) wine in this vineyard goes towards lean and structured with an austerity akin to Barolo. Find our Etna Rosso Guardiola here.


Calderara Sottana Grand Cru
This vineyard surrounds the actual property of Tenuta delle Terre Nere, elevation 600-700 metres. Stoney pebbles with black pumice. This vineyard offers the broadest spectrum of flavours from any of the vineyards. Harvest here can be late, often the second or third week of October. Find our Etna Rosso Calderara Sottana 2015 here.


San Lorenzo Grand Cru
750 metres above sea level, San Lorenzo has similar soil types to Calderara Sottana but with its higher elevation and remote location surrounded by wood on three sides, it is a cool vineyard. The wines therefore are richly concentrated but with a very good ageing capacity. Find our Etna Rosso San Lorenzo here.


Tenuta delle Terre Nere owner, Marco do Grazi was drawn to the power of Mt. Etna, recognising her strengths and weaknesses, “Some things were true (referring to terroir) while others had to be perfected”. Grazi had previously shone the spotlight in Piedmont over many years, however his discovery of volcanic soil and its mouth-watering qualities set him on his life mission to express as purely as possible the refined and multifaceted microcosm of this ancient volcanic land. The soil composition of this volcanic land varies astonishingly; even pure lava comes in technicoloured variations. There is a lightness and freshness to everything in Etna, be it grapes, olives or honey. The bond between the winemakers and nature is what really sets Tenute delle Terre Nere apart from other winemakers, allowing themselves to be guided by the soil and the climate – it’s almost a conversation between the two.

Meet Fritz!

Like sparkling wine but want something more interesting than Prosecco yet similarly priced? Fritz Muller is made by Jurgen Hofmann, (described as a rising star in the “Gault Millau” Wine Guide) and inspired by the demands of Guido Walter, a wine merchant in Munich. Fed up with the sameness of Prosecco they looked to the … Read More