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Unique Volcanic Vineyards a Highlight of Sicilan Holidays

04, February 2015: While as a travel destination Italy has always been popular with wine aficionados, experts from top specialist accommodation company Cottages to Castles say those with a passion for understanding the provenance of their tipple have even more reason to visit the country. On the island of Sicily, local vintners are stretching the limits of conventional winemaking by producing a select range of wines on the precarious high slopes of the famous Mount Etna.

Many wine lovers book Sicilian holidays specifically in order to experience the range of excellent vintages the island produces. While Sicily's favourable conditions mean the wines produced here have always been considered of a good standard, one intrepid winemaker, in particular, is making waves throughout the industry.

Frank Cornelissen is a practitioner of what is commonly known as 'natural' winemaking, although he prefers to use the term 'non-interventionist' for his techniques. Belgian born, this completely self taught winemaker has spent over ten years on the northern slopes of the volcano, starting with just half a hectare of vines. With no training and never having grown grapes before, Cornelissen says, 'For three years I was a gardener, then I learned to be a farmer.'

From those humble beginnings, Cornelissen's premium 'Magma' wine now sells for around USD$650 a magnum in restaurants all over the world. Even for a region whose wines are reputed to rival the very finest European vintages, that's an impressive result.

Wine lovers who book Sicilian holidays to visit the source of such quality will find Cornelissen is not the only winemaker on the slopes of Mount Etna – one of the most unlikely places in the world one would imagine for a vineyard. Andrea Franchetti (renowned for his Tuscan vintages), Marco de Grazia (who single handedly created the Barolo market in the USA) and Salvatore Foti (a local from Catania) are all credited for their roles in making the red wines of Mount Etna so rightly world-renowned.

While representatives from Cottages to Castles say, naturally, a visit to any of these vineyards would appeal in the most part to dedicated wine aficionados, anyone on Sicilian holidays should consider an excursion to see and experience the fruit of these ground-breaking winemakers' labours.

About Cottages to Castles:

Cottages To Castles is a family-run company offering quality accommodation in privately-owned Italian villas. Their comprehensive catalogue encompasses all the main Italian locations, and their family team of experts will use their knowledge of Italy to find the perfect location for any client’s holiday. Visit Cottages to Castles at http://www.cottagestocastles.com/

For Media Contact:
Cottages to Castles
Tuscany House, 10 Tonbridge Road,
Maidstone, Kent, ME16 8RP, United Kingdom
+44 (0)1622 775217

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