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Approximately 4½ Hours
Depart from Messina on a scenic drive to one of the famous estates of the Etna region. This region is characterized by a microclimate with frigid winters and temperate summers, abundant rainfall and a wide temperature range. These conditions contrast sharply with the rest of Sicily, which is generally drier and hotter. These climatic features influence the maturation of the grapes and flavor in the local wines, including the conservation of primary bouquets and total acidity. The particular taste of Etna wine is due to the lava soil, which is rich in potassium and mineral salts.
Visit the San Michele Estate, whose winery and the cellars are situated in an ancient, traditional Etna-style building. The vineyards are in a single area, distributed across large terraces and covering 62 acres. The cultivation method is the espalier system with 'hooded cordon' pruning. There is no irrigation except during initial planting. The varieties cultivated are those typical of the region -- Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Mantellato, Caricante and Cataratto.
All around is the wonderful panorama from the Taormina promontory to Capo Mulini. Mt Etna dominates this magnificent scene towering up to its summit at 11,000 feet.
As you return to the ship, enjoy a quick photo stop and a view of the 1992 lava flows.
A moderate amount of walking is required; wear suitable footwear. The winery visit involves 45 minutes of walking with approximately 30 steps to negotiate at the wine cellar. Minimum age is 21 years. Corkage policy: Wine purchased on this tour is exempt from the onboard corkage fee (offer limited to one bottle of wine per person).