4 Relatively Impressive Things to Say About Volcanic Wine

Sure, wine grown in plain old clay or limestone is perfectly fine. But what about wine that’s grown in ancient volcanic soil? It’s time to take terroir to the next level.

“No, seriously—these wines are grown in actual volcanic soil.”

No, this isn’t some marketing gimmick. And yes, we’re talking about black, dead-looking soil from active, dormant, or extinct volcanos. “It’s shocking when you see it,” says Patrick Cappiello, the wine director at Pearl & Ash in Manhattan. If you can give your friends a sense of what these vineyards look like, the wines will be instantly more interesting. So describe the wine as springing from the scorched Earth like a Phoenix rising from the ashes…or just whip out your phone and show them the photo below.

“This is terroir 2.0.”

Bringing up the concept of terroir—a fancy French wine term to describe a wine’s “sense of place”—is one of the easiest ways to set off people’s bullshit detectors. Plus, as Cappiello points out, “clay and limestone exist all over the world,” so wrapping your brain around why the wine grown in Bordeaux’s soil is different than the one in Borolo’s can be difficult—not to mention boring. But if any terroir is going to be interesting, it’s the mineral-rich volcanic soil these wines come from—particularly the reds, which are light, elegant, and much less tannic that most.

“Get a load of the aromatics on this one!”

Dip your nose into a glass of wine grown in volcanic soil and the first thing you’ll notice is how much more you smell than your run-of-the-mill red or white wine. You’re not overthinking it: “The wines are much more aromatic as a result of the mineral content in the soil,” explains Cappiello. “The plants are just happier plants.” Score extra points by dropping wine terminology like “expressive aromatics,” “fresh,” and “bright.”

“It’s all about the volcanic wines from Sicily”

There’s wine grown in volcanic soil all over the world—Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Napa Valley are two sites in the United States. But, for Cappiello, the wines grown on Mount Etna in Sicily are the best examples. “The producers there really capture it,” says Cappiello. “A new crew of young producers like Arianna Occhipinti have started making wine there that are so beautiful.” If you’re looking for a starting point with these wines, look for a bottle from Mount Etna.

4 Relatively Impressive Things to Say About Volcanic Wine

Read more here: