From a very unlikely region comes the best sparkling wine of Italy – the Etna volcano of the island of Sicily is home to the Spumante Murgo. The main reason why this wine is far superior to the rest of paesano sparkling wines is because it’s a Blanc de Noir – a white wine made with red grapes, in this case Nerello Mascalese, the local grape of the Etna. Nerello Mascalese is the Volcano’s historical grape and has recently stepped up its game. The various good red wines coming out of the Etna have their own identity and style; they are fresh, spicy and rather elegant.
The spumante Murgo was inspired by Champagne and uses the same winemaking techniques replacing Pinot Noir with Nerello Mascalese. Murgo began making spumante in the late 80s and is the first winery to make a sparkling wine on the Etna. Emanuele Scammacca has created something very special that is yet to receive just recognition in uncharted territory. I would dare to say it’s a move equal to the genius of planting Cabernet on the Bolgheri hills and creating Sassicaia. The more people try the spumante Murgo, the more success it will have – it’s a no brainer.
I especially enjoy Murgo Brut, their mid-level spumante.