IDDA | Sicily

Mount Etna in Sicily home to Gaja & Graci's IDDA Project

IDDA is a joint venture involving the Gaja and Graci families, an adventure that began in 2016 on the highest active volcano in Europe. Angelo Gaja had long been intrigued with Etna since his friend, the oenologist Giacomo Tachis, first introduced him to its splendor in the late 1990’s; however, without intimate knowledge of the region he never dreamed of starting a project there, especially as he was pre occupied at the time with his other projects, Pieve Santa Restituta and Ca'Marcanda. Then, in 2015, Angelo Gaja met Alberto Graci for the first time and as he got to know him and his family Angelo's deep curiosity for their culture and land kept growing, until the desire of working together came naturally. Toward the end of 2016, based on a mutual respect and love of the artisanal approach, they decided to form a joint venture, a first for both families.

Etna is not just a volcano, it is a mountain that originated over hundreds of thousands of years of lava eruptions. The Sicilians attribute a female nature to it - a strict yet generous mother - which is why they call her ‘IDDA,’ meaning ‘SHE’ in the Sicilian dialect. IDDA is pure energy, it is land where every fruit ripens with many different nuances.

This joint venture of the Gaja and Graci families rests on their mutual curiosity and drive to always learn, grow and improve. While the most developed and valued variety on Etna is Nerello Mascalese, covering 80% of the vineyards, IDDA intend to focus mainly on the Carricante varietal. Together, they believe in the bright future of Etna white wines and on Carricante’s potential to develop great complexity and ageing potential.  

With this in mind they have taken the unorthodox approach of focusing on the southern slope of the volcano, often referred to as the contrarian side of Etna. This largely forgotten region has a glorious past, from the Benedictine monks to Baron Spitaleri (the first producer to name Etna on a label, in 1866). However, compared to the northern slope of the mountain which is well developed and has established a remarkable reputation, the southern side is relatively unexploited. The southern slope will allow Gaja and Graci to explore a wide range of altitudes, exposures and soil types. With Carricante, a late ripening variety, they intend to seek out a  profound and complex structure along with vibrant acidity.

A new winery will be built in Belpasso, ready to welcome its first harvest in 2022. Until then, the wines will be made in Alberto Graci’s facility in Passopisciaro.