As a child, Irene Badala fell in love with the world of grapes and wine, following her father and his workers around the vineyard, observing the love and care with which every single plant was cultivated. Today, Azienda Agricola Irene Badala is a tiny, 100% biodynamic, 3 hectare estate with vines, ranging in age from 50-90 years, planted 600 meters up the slope on Mt. Etna. Beginning with their first bottling of 150 cases in 2011, the Irene Badala's estate now produces a miniscule total of 350 cases per year between Etna Rosso (100% Nerello Mescalese) and Etna Bianco, which is produced from the ancient, white varietal, Carricante, thought to have been growing on the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna for at least a thousand years. All work in the vineyard is hand done by Irene and her husband, Matteo, with the wines vinified by Irene at the nearby Terre Nere facility.
The philosophy and culture of Azienda Agricola Irene Badala are best told in Irene Badala’s own words:
“We have learned to cultivate our vineyard with the vines, as teachers and the long experience of farmers, as textbooks, combining the centuries old culture of these lands with modern knowledge and techniques. Today, we take care of our vineyard with the utmost respect for its natural vitality, from the stringed pruning to the manual harvest, hand selecting every single bunch that will go in our wines. We passionately cultivate this great plateau of 3 hectares of grape vines, which is set between chestnut and fruit trees, hazelnuts and the flowers that emerge from the black lava each Spring to inundate and inebriate the surrounding territory, giving our wines aromas and sensations typical of our territory. For us, viticulture and wine production are dedication, reflection, patience, and the scorching Sicilian sun and pouring rain that melt together in our wines expressing the territory and the vintage.”
Badala's Etna Rosso is an exciting expression of Nerello Mascalese that offers vibrant, precise, complex aromas and flavors of wild berries, cherry, pomegranate and cranberry with notes of slate, sweet spice, minerals, dried rose petal and Etna’s classic volcanic ash, all presented with great intensity and nuance. The long, lingering finish is "nervy" with an integrated, tannic grip, rare for a wine of this elegance.
Total production: 200 cases