Azienda Agricola Emanuele Scammacca del Murgo

Santa Venerina | Sicily

murgo_oldbw_webFor more than 100 years, the Scammacca del Murgo family has cultivated vines and olives under the fiery gaze of Mount Etna in Sicily. More than once this active volcano has destroyed vineyard plots and covered their family home under ash—events that would rattle the nerves of even the most daredevil winemakers. Yet for the Scammacca del Murgo clan, it’s just the price one pays for the privilege of growing vines in one of the more dynamic and breathtaking wine regions on earth.

Up until the 1970s, Baron Emanuele and his family produced wine for locals in Santa Venerina. Friends and extended family would visit the estate, chatting with the “baron” while filling up their damigiana with wine for the week. It was in 1981 when Emanuele decided the time was ripe to move away from bulk production to focus on Etna’s exceptional volcanic terroir and its native grape, Nerello Mascalese. The family produced its first Etna Rosso in 1982 and then in 1990, they bottled their first estate sparkling dry wine from Nerello Mascalese, crafted according to the Méthode Champenoise.

Caring for vines and crafting wine has always been a family affair; the baron’s eight sons—Michele, Pietro, Matteo, Filippo, Alessandro, Bernardo, Manfredi and Costantino—all have a role, either in the fields or in the cantina, with the singular goal of ensuring that their father’s pioneering work in redefining the face of Etna wine continues.


Nerello Mascalese is Sicily’s most important grape, an indigenous variety that thrives on the island’s high-altitude vineyards and pure volcanic soils. Mount Etna—on the east side of this large island—is an active volcano. Estate vineyards in Santa Venerina are found on its slopes, with soils that are mostly decomposed lava, with the texture of sand; such soils are porous and mineral-rich.

Estate vineyards are terraced into old lava beds and sit at 1,400 to 2,000 feet above sea level. At altitude, temperatures swing widely, from very hot during the day to extremely cool in the evenings. Because of this, harvest is a good month later on Etna than in the rest of Sicily’s vine-growing regions.

The Scammacca del Murgo family cares for its vines as naturally as possible, and harvest is always by hand. In general, still wines are fermented on selected yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks and aged also in tank on fine lees. Sparkling wines are fermented in tank, with second fermentation in bottle, like Champagne (“metodo classico”).

Extra Brut Metodo Classico

A special extra brut version of the estate’s pure Nerello Mascalese sparkling wine, made in only the best of years and a vibrant wine that has few peers in Sicily, if not the world! Energy and red-fruited power, tons of spice; this is what you want with fresh oysters and the perfect sunset. 



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Brut Metodo Classico

A sparkling wine made from stars over the fiery caldera of Mount Etna! So much body and flavor, so much soul. Pure Nerello Mascalese, crafted in the style of fine Champagne, with years on fine lees in bottle. A peerless aperitif and seductive with fresh seafood or Mediterranean appetizers — this is a very serious wine for a very affordable price. 


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Brut Rosé Metodo Classico

A true rosé sparkling wine from pure Nerello Mascalese grapes, grown on the fiery slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily. Here red grapes are pressed to capture a sunset-inspired pink color; the wine is crafted like a fine Champagne, with years on fine lees in bottle. Spectacular!


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Etna Bianco

A lively blend of Sicily’s two native white grapes. Carricante contributes citrus fruit and minerality, while Catarratto white fruit flavors and body. Jasmine and yellow flowers, good acidity.



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Etna Bianco Tenuta San Michele

A special selection of native white grapes grown on pure volcanic soils at altitude, 2,000 feet and even higher. ‘Tenuta San Michele’ wines are crafted only in the finest vintages, a single-vineyard wine aged in a combination of tank and French oak barrels. What a beauty! This is the chilled glass you want alongside a sumptuous feast of seafood pulled straight from the coast of Catania, as the sun sets over the glowing caldera of Mount Etna!



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Etna Rosato

The perfect wine for a Sicilian summer, when tomatoes are at their peak of ripeness.  Aromas of wild strawberries and red berries; juicy with a clean, refreshing finish.



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Etna Rosso

This spicy red is the estate’s “cornerstone” wine, and Nerello Mascalese is one of Italy’s most distinctive grapes. Red roses, violets, red berries; tangy, fresh and smooth.



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Etna Rosso Tenuta San Michele

A special selection of Nerello Mascalese grown on pure volcanic soils at altitude, 2,000 feet and even higher. ‘Tenuta San Michele’ wines are crafted only in the finest vintages, a single-vineyard wine aged in a combination of tank and French oak barrels for 18 months. This is the “grand cru” of Etna Rosso!


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Established: 1800s
Winemaker: Michele Scammacca del Murgo
Region: Italy • Sicily • Santa Venerina
Vineyard size: 75 acres


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