Belgian Frank Cornelissen’s vineyards are located in the Sicilian region of Mount Etna, one of the few areas in Europe that wasn’t affected by the phylloxera blight in the 19th Century. The vineyards are located between 600-1000 meters of altitude, with a soil composition of lavic, volcanic and basaltic rock. The free standing vines grow side by side with olive, fruit and nut trees. The vines are farmed biodinamically, with as little intervention as possible. After harvesting by hand, fermentation takes place in terracotta amphorae buried in the ground with long maceration on skins. The wines are then basket pressed and returned to the amphorae for maturation. Cornelissen believes that we will never be able to fully grasp nature’s complexities and interactions and his idiosyncratic wines are a reflection of his philosophy and of Mount Etna’s terroir.
The grapes from each patch of land farmed by Frank Cornelissen are harvested and vinified separately. The MunJebel Rosso MC (Monte Colla) is an intense red made from the Nerello Mascalese grape, providing aromas of wild berry and red rose with a darkly rich color and textural richness. The MunJebel Rosso VA (Vigne Alte) was first made in 2009 from vines over 90 years old in high altitude vineyards. It is a robust, elegant wine with a floral quality, giving it a lighter body. The Rosso del Contadino is primarily composed of Nerello Mascalese with a blend of indigenous Sicilian grapes, Nerello Cappuccio, Grenache, Alicante Bouschet and Minnella. These other grapes bring out a more floral, perfumed and spicy character from the denser MunJebel, making it lighter and drinkable. The estate’s use of synthetic corks improves the preservation of the freshness and integrity of the wine.
Frank Cornelissen MunJebel Rosso MC, 2014
Frank Cornelissen MunJebel Rosso VA, 2014
Frank Cornelissen Rosso del Contadino, 2016
Nerello Mascalese, Indigenous Sicilian Varieties