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English (英文原声） Isabell
What happens when you are asked to cold-call a whole bunch of Italian wineries to obtain wine donations for a tasting when you are not mother tongue Italian and have trouble with the whole concept of a sales pitch. Well, I will tell you, it means days of incremental, anxiety filled moments, where I thought I was developing a speech impediment because I was stuttering over my words so much. However, it was part of my job that week and I Kept Calm and Carried On… as they say. The one saving grace of that experience happened when after getting off the phone -having just made the twentieth call of the day, and hearing nothing but, “We will get back to you” or “Sure we will consider it, but I need to speak to the owner first”- that is when I decided to call the Ciro Biondi winery in Sicily.
Imagine my surprise when I realized the person who answered the phone was in fact an English woman speaking Italian…I almost jumped out of my chair to do a little dance…Stephanie Biondi is the wife of Ciro Biondi, they are a couple who jointly own and operate the Ciro Biondi Winery, their cellar and three single vineyards are located on the south-east slope of the Mount Etna volcano, in Trecastagni, 18 km from Catania, Sicily. Stephanie was gracious and kind, agreeing to donate wine for the tasting, 6 bottles of their volcanic wine, PIANTA ETNA D.O.C. Bianco 2016. This award-winning wine comes from their Contrade Ronzini Vignard 650 m.s.l. and it is composed of Carricante, Cataratto and Minnella grapes. This straw yellow wine is aromatic, and your nose will pick up sweet scents like honey and stone fruit, flowers and herbs, in the mouth it is full-bodied, the minerality shines through, also there is a really nice acidity.
想象一下，当我意识到接电话的人实际上是一个说意大利语的英国女人时，我有多惊讶……我差点从椅子上跳起来跳一支舞……Stephanie Biondi是西Ciro Biondi的妻子，这对夫妇共同拥有和经营Ciro Biondi酒庄，他们的酒窖和三个葡萄园位于埃特纳火山的东南斜坡上，距离西西里特雷卡斯塔涅的卡塔纳亚18公里。Stephanie和蔼可亲，同意为品酒会赞助6瓶火山白葡萄酒，PIANTA埃特纳2016年份的白葡萄酒。这款屡获殊荣的葡萄酒来自他们的50米海拔Contrade Ronzini Vignard，由卡利坎特（Carricante）、卡塔拉托（Cataratto）和敏尼拉（Minnella）3个葡萄品种混酿而成。这种稻草黄色的葡萄酒香气馥郁，你会闻到蜂蜜、核果、花和香草的甜味，嘴里充满矿物质，酸度非常好。
What a difference a friendly voice can make to someone’s day, it lifted my spirits, but the phone call also really got me thinking about Volcanic wines. Being an archaeology major, I started wondering about the soils and structures in and around the Etna area that make the wine so special. So I did a little digging on the Ciro Biondi Winery.
The Biondi family has had the vineyards since the 1600’s. They have been producing wines and wading through the tides of change; winning awards for their wines since that period. It was in 1999 that Ciro and Stephanie took over the winery, focusing on native grapes, using the Albarello method on 6 hectares of terraced vineyards. The terroir is special and temperatures really shift between night and day. The soils are sandy volcanic, rich in minerals, an aspect that really comes through in their wines. They have 3 different vineyards; the Contrada Ronzini vineyard, already mentioned (on a crater that dates back to 125 BC) that plants Carricante, Cataratto and Minnella grapes, then there is the Cisterni Fuori vineyard (on a crater dated at 125 BC) that covers 17.200 sq meters, at 640-700 m.s.l., the soils here are pumice and volcanic, and the grapes grown here are Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. The last of the three is San Nicolo (on a crater that dates back 12000 years – this is cool), a 7.000 sq.m. vineyard of volcanic soil and pumice, at 640 m.s.l., it is planted with Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio.
Biondi家族从16世纪起就拥有葡萄园，并开始生产葡萄酒。艰难地度过变革的浪潮，从那时起他们的葡萄酒就屡获大奖。1999年，Ciro和Stephanie接管了酒庄，在6公顷的梯田葡萄园里，用奥尔巴尼罗法种植本地葡萄。风土是特殊的，昼夜温差很大。土壤是砂质火山土，富含矿物质，这一点在他们的葡萄酒中得到了很好的体现。他们有3个不同的葡萄园；Contrada Ronzini葡萄园，如上文所提到(在公元前125年的火山口上)种植卡利坎特、卡塔拉托和敏尼拉。Cisterni Fuori葡萄园(在公元前125年的火山口上)占地17.200平方米，海拔640-700米，这里的土壤是浮石和火山土，这里种植的葡萄是马斯卡斯奈莱洛（Nerello Mascalese）和Nerello Cappuccio（修士奈莱洛）。三个葡萄园中的最后一个是San Nicolo (位于一个可追溯到12000年前的火山口上)，一个面积为7000平方米的葡萄园，由火山土壤和浮石组成，海拔640米，种植着马斯卡斯奈莱洛和修士奈莱洛。
The complexity of the Etna terroir will keep me busy for a while, it is very satisfying to learn about a vineyard and its soils and then be able to taste the wine created from it; a place so far away suddenly becomes understood.
Needless to say, I am now a fan of this particular winery, especially since I received a surprise visit from Stephanie during Vinitaly, after the tasting in which her wine was included, she came just to say hello and meet me! She was as friendly and gracious as ever. I hope that one day I can go and tour the Ciro Biondi winery, to see the famous Mount Etna and its vineyards in person, but until then I shall just keep drinking the wines!