The Nerello Mascalese is the classic and defining red vine on Mount Etna. It seems to origin from the planes of Mascali where it has been first documented early in the 18th century. It is, however, assumed that it might be much older.
Its surname, „il mulo“, literally „the mule“, shows the crucial importance of this vine in the peculiar, sometimes cool and rainy climate around the Etna.
To give the Etna-wines a final touch of taste and class, 20% of Nerello Cappuccio is added to create the classic Etna Rosso DOC.
The Nerello Cappuccio is another local grape from the Etna region and the name of the plant is derived from the black Capuchin robes as the grapes are very dark. Combined, the two creates a wine that with its complex set of tastes is often compared to the wines from the Bourgogne.