Top 10 volcanic wines

VolcanoAs well as being one of nature’s most impressive phenomena, volcanoes contribute to the making of some stunning and very distinctive wines, combining fresh, mouthwatering acidity, saline or flinty-peppery ‘minerality’ and remarkable longevity.

As the recent Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) volcanic wines seminar and tasting made plain, however, there’s more than one type of volcano in the world and, inevitably, more than one volcanic wine style.

Perhaps owing to the keen interest that the wines of volcanic regions such as Soave, Alsace, Etna, Santorini and Tenerife have stimulated, a wealth of scientific inquiry into these regions’ soils has also been generated.

The seminar, hosted by Sarah Abbott MW and co-ordinated by Abbott along with Nancy Gilchrist and IMW events officer Camilla Fitzgerald, highlighted some of the key scientific questions that volcanic terroirs raise – questions that have implications for our understanding of terroir in general: how could the chemical components of these distinct soils be responsible for a ‘volcanic style’? Are soil structure and the availability of water more important in expressing such a style than vineyard location, grape variety and microclimate?

The answers to these questions may still be up for debate, but fortunately that does not prevent us from appreciating the great wines that volcanoes produce.

Here are our top 10 from the IMW tasting…

4 Responses to “Top 10 volcanic wines”

  1. Nick Oakley says:

    Etna, Santorini, Tenerife, Pantellaria. I get these. But Alsace? Volcanic?

    • Olivier Humbrecht says:

      There were two types of volcanic activity in the region: submarine in south Alsace, before the emergence of the VOsges mountains above sea level, and more recently in the Kaiserstuhl in Germany. The ashes and vocanic dusts sedimented in the sea and got compacted as the Vosges were pushed out of the sea in a rock called Grauwacke.

  2. Luigi says:

    I cannot believe that any wines from the Campania region was not featured! Greco Di Tufo, Lacryma Christi to name but 2.

  3. See the wonder book by John Szabo MW call Volcanic Wines, recently available online too. Beside the well known regions, some lovely pockets of volcanic terroir to discover.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Representative - Private Customers

Corney and Barrow
Central Hong Kong, HK

Export Manager UK On Trade

AdVini
Home based in London or the South East, GB

Global Head of Marketing

ATOM Brands
Tunbridge Wells, GB

Sales Executive

Three Wine Men
Home-based but must be available to travel throughout the UK with frequent trips to London, GB

Senior Sales Operations Executive

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

On Trade & Corporate Accounts Manager

The Champagne Company
Birmingham, UK

Customer Service Assistant

The Champagne Company
Birmingham, UK

Key Account Manager - Distilling Sector - Scotland

Boortmalt
Scotland - call for exact details, UK

UK Brand Ambassador - Ableforth’s

ATOM Brands
Field-based, UK

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2018

VinoVision Paris

Paris,France
12th Feb 2018

Vinisud

Montpellier,France
18th Feb 2018
Click to view more

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2018

Deadline : 26th January 2018

Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2018

Deadline : 23rd February 2018

Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more