...but they are also some of the most difficult to work. The labour involved in tending steep or inaccessible vineyard sites is significant. It is often impossible to use machinery, so hand-tending is a necessity. Harsh winds and the danger of slipping while working in the vineyard is always present, making viticulture a daunting task.
However, mountain wines are some of the most enchanting in the world. The rewards for the backbreaking work are luminous flavours and vibrant fruit.
Despite being within sight of the Mediterranean sea, the vineyards of this mountain wine are 650 metres above sea level. This require labourious vineyard work - donkeys are used to help carry harvested grapes and the altitude and slopes dictate that the work is very manual. However, the altitude also gives the wine distinctive elegance and freshness.
Made from a blend of Spanish grapes (80% Romé - a variety indigenous to Málaga) - it has notes of liquorice, dark plums, and herbs, elegant smooth tannins and a fresh lingering finish.
This unique blend of Carignan, Grenache and Mourvèdre is named 'Wild Slopes' thanks to the vines being planted on steep hillsides which in some parts are at more than a 45 degree angle. The vines are trained in a pole system and terraced - this allows for higher planting desity and helps prevent soil erosion.
The wine is a beautiful deep velvet colour, and has a rich complex nose of herbs, dried figs and liqourice, with a juicy refreshing palate of cinnamon hints and smooth structured tannins.
The Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio grapes for this wine are grown at 650 - 850 metres above sea level on the slopes of the active volcano Mount Etna, the tallest volcano in Europe. The vineyards are on very steep slopes and and grown on terraces or 'Terrazze'.
The vineyards belonging to this estate are superb - low trained and planted on the volcanic soils of the slopes of Monte Vulture at altitudes of up to 800 metres above sea level.
Monte Vulture is an extinct volcano in the north of Basilicate, a very hot and continental climate is moderated by the altitude of the vineyards.