In 2011 Mimmo and Valeria purchased and renovated Palmento Santo Spirito in Castiglione di Sicilia. This palmento (winery) was built over 100 years ago. Like many of his colleagues on Etna who have done similar work, Costanzo maintained the integrity of the existing building, while adding state of the art winemaking equipment and temperature control.
In total there are 12 hectares at the farm (10 planted to vine), most terraced vines that reach up to 800 meters in the Santo Spirito cru, in Passopisciaro. These 10 hectares are planted to albarello vines using chestnut support polls, which is how things were done historically on Mt. Etna. There are over 60,000 albarello vines on the property ranging from two years old (Mimmo and Valeria had to replant a good chunk of the vines when they purchased the property) to 100. These albarello vines are not in the perfect rows that we are used to seeing in other parts of the world. There’s a plant here and a plant there, in total there are about 8,000 plants per hectare. This “confusion” does not allow tractors or machinery to pass through, meaning everything has to be done by hand. This forces Mimmo and Valeria to be completely subject to the rules of nature, just as they like it to be!
The two principle grapes produced at Palmento Costanzo are Carricante and Nerello Mascalese. There are small plantings of Nerello Capuccio, Cattarrato, Trebbiano and the Etna native Minnella as well. In Santo Spirito, you have a portions of very rocky terrain, volcanic rocks of course. For the most part there is a concentration of 70% volcanic rock, sand or ash, with occasional pockets of clay and more traditional sand on the property.