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When the DOC Etna was introduced in 1968, things were not at their best for the wines of the famous Sicilian volcano. The quality that had already been praised in Roman times was almost forgotten, many of the higher, difficult-to-grow sites had been abandoned, and much of the wine was sold openly to restaurants in the nearby coastal towns. With the collapse of the open wine market in the 1980s, cultivated areas and production volumes declined even further.

Etna's renaissance as an important wine-growing region began around the turn of the millennium, when two Tuscans, Andrea Franchetti of the Trinoro winery and wine broker Marc de Grazia from Florence, began to recultivate the best sites on the volcano and quickly gained international attention with their wines from the newly founded Passopisciaro and Terre Nere estates. Planeta, one of the top Sicilian wineries, was also one of the new pioneers on Etna, followed by Tasca and Donnafugata. To date, the number of quality-oriented wineries has grown to around 60, and the area under vines is constantly increasing. The latter also at altitudes of sometimes well over 1000 metres above sea level, which are not covered by the DOC at all. As a result, some of the best wines have to be marketed as Sicilia DOC or even as Terre Siciliane IGT.