Dagala di Bocca d’Orzo
Bocca d’Orzo, along with the neighbouring San Lorenzo, has always been considered one of the finest terroirs of the Etna appellation. What was it like? No-one can really say with some kind of exactitude. Virtually the entire Cru was annihilated by the huge lava flow in 1981. And as no one bottled single vineyard wines before Terre Nere started in 2002, we have no bottled history of this cru. No written history either, for that matter: only the glitter in old vignerons’ eyes when one mentions it. The wines must have truly been remarkable, if one considers that a half dozen vignerons whose land was submerged, waited for the lava to cool off, unloaded truckloads of earth over the hardened flow and replanted, hoping to recapture some of the cru’s grandeur. Three years ago (2017) I discovered a well hidden “island”, completely surrounded by the lava flow, that was somehow spared. And within the island the last miraculously surviving vineyard of Bocca d’Orzo. Well, after unspeakably lengthy negotiations with the four brothers that owned it, last year I succeeded in buying it. I decided to add to its name the Sicilian epithet “dagala”, which roughly means “island” or, in viticoltural lingo, the equivalent of a Clos. The first vintage produced, 2019, will be released in 2021. It yielded three barrels of superlative wine, rivalling the best of the vintage, well worth the efforts to acquire what is, in fact, a true “monopole”.