Mt. Etna: Palmento Tradition

Salvo Foti and his son, Simone, stopped for a minute in the window of the palmento where they, along with other members of Foti’s I Vigneri, led a demonstration of traditional Etna winemaking.

Foti, an enologo who has been on the forefront of making quality wine on Etna for twenty years, is committed to educating people about traditional winemaking in the palmento and to bringing young people back to viniculture. (See previous post)

In his view, “By drinking a wine, you come to know the people, the place and the culture behind it…Wine is a beautiful means of conserving our land and our way of life. We are stewards of Etna and we can value it through this product that is inextricably linked to our humanity.”

On a September Saturday, community members gathered in the town of Milo to watch the demonstration.Grapes were brought in through the window and put into this stone trough for foot pressing.

When pressing was complete, the team scooped the grape skins down into the fermentation tanks below. Notice the roof that has been redone by hand.


Must flowed down into the fermentation tanks.
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Then, the last of the juice was pressed out with this enormous screw press.

This photo of the exterior of the palmento shows the entrance to the winemaking and cellar area on the left and the door to the family home on the right. Traditionally, every family had a palmento.
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Traditional Sicilian cart decorated with scenes from history or the Bible.
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