Winery

Frank Cornelissen

High up in the shadow of the Mount Etna, Belgian Frank Cornelissen cultivates expressive wines of volcanic origin that enjoy cult status among wine lovers worldwide.

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"Before a wine can be good, it must first be real."

– Frank Cornelissen

Colour
Type
Grape variety

Susucaru Rossato 2021

winestyle-img Silky & Deep
Mineral
Like the idea of a wet stone: sometimes cool, salty, slightly smoky and mostly a tight, grippy texture on the palate. Rather a mouthfeel than aromatics.
Fruity
Like a fruit basket of fresh fruit: From citrus to peach, apple, pear, to cherry, raspberry or plum.
Structured, Elegant
23,90 €
31,87 €/L

Munjebel Bianco 2020

winestyle-img Fine & Layered
Mineral
Like the idea of a wet stone: sometimes cool, salty, slightly smoky and mostly a tight, grippy texture on the palate. Rather a mouthfeel than aromatics.
Vegetative
Floral
Like a fragrant flower meadow with notes like rose and jasmine blossoms and delicate meadow herbs.
Fine-meshed, Complex
41,90 €
55,87 €/L

Frank Cornelissen works on jewel-like mini plots on the cool northern slope of Mount Etna

The unique terroir at the "Montagna", as the volcano is called by the locals, has become a field of oenological experimentation for Frank Cornelissen for two decades now. Frank's philosophy of agriculture is based on the fact that man will never be able to understand all the complexity and interactions of nature and the cosmos. Because of this, he decided to renounce all treatments such as chemical, organic, traditional or even biodynamic.

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Natural wines with an atmosphere, or soul, that resembles the environment: fragrant, elegant, almost fragile and of a rare beauty.

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With the Mediterranean Sea in front and the peak of Etna behind us, the view is truly breathtaking. The northern part of Etna is also considered a top wine-growing region these days and is compared to Burgundy or Piedmont for good reason.

Etna has extremely complex soil characteristics and the numerous eruptions have made the soil very soft-there is a wide variety of structures, with the majority consisting of volcanic ash and lava rock, which gives the wines a slightly dark smokiness.

Frank Cornelissen's vineyards are located on small plots, spread over various altitudes up to 1000 metres, spanning a total area of 13 hectares. The second half of the 24-hectare estate is planted with olive trees and various types of fruit - in the gardens you will find a remarkable biodiversity, which sustainably strengthens the vineyard and its vines.

The grapes are harvested at full ripeness and the vinification takes place partly in terracotta amphorae buried in lava stone and partly in very large, neutral epoxy resin tanks, without the use of additives or fining agents, of course.

In Frank Cornelissen's vineyards, old, almost forgotten grape varieties of Sicily are thriving

In addition to the classic, Sicilian grape varieties such as Nerello Mascalese and Carricante, Frank Cornelissen also strives to cultivate the almost forgotten, autochthonous Minella Bianca, Francisi, Cataratto and Grecanico, all of which are spread over small, jewel-like vineyards on the northern slopes of Mount Etna.

Tillage is avoided as much as possible, although this depends on the vintage and the amount of water during the winter (recovery of the vines after the production cycle). The aim of Frank and his team is to avoid any treatment in the vineyard, orchard and surrounding area, which has been achieved even in difficult vintages such as 2004 and 2005. Although Etna has a tradition of planting vines in high density, Frank tries to reduce monoculture and plant different varieties of fruit and also keep bees to restore a complex ecosystem.