Discovering Terra Costantino: The Organic Jewel of Mount Etna

An Authentic Travel Experience in Sicily

When visiting Sicily, a tour of Terra Costantino offers an unparalleled authentic travel experience. This organic winery, located on the slopes of Mount Etna, embodies the principles of sustainable travel and slow living. As the first organic winery on Mount Etna, Terra Costantino champions a lifestyle that intertwines with nature, history, and family tradition. Our writer, Feuza (of Fuse Travels), recently had the opportunity to explore this remarkable estate and its wines.

Feuza & her husband Max. All images courtesy of Feuza Reis

The Legacy of Terra Costantino

Founded with a commitment to organic farming since its inception, Terra Costantino received its organic certification in 2000. This was before the world had discovered the extraordinary oenological microcosm of Mount Etna. The Costantino family, with a long agricultural history born from their love of the land, discovered the fascinating history of this terroir more than 40 years ago. In the 1970s, Dino Costantino recovered the vineyard in Contrada Blandano, where the winery is located today. The spontaneous wines produced from these 10 hectares of vines, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, stem from a tradition that has renewed itself for centuries. This vineyard, with a millstone dated 1699, represents a love story between man and land, renewed year after year, harvest after harvest.

Since 2020, Terra Costantino has enriched Contrada Praino in Milo with a new vineyard, featuring 2 amazing hectares of terraces naturally suited to fine Etna white wine. Dino’s son, Fabio Costantino, now collaborates with his father, overseeing the global vision of the winery.

A Unique Terroir on Mount Etna

Mount Etna’s volcanic soil and unique climate contribute to the distinctiveness of Terra Costantino’s wines. The cellar is strategically located underground to naturally maintain cool temperatures, reducing energy consumption. This energy-efficient design lessens the need for artificial cooling, making the winemaking process more sustainable. Additionally, the region benefits from ocean breezes that keep the soil dry, crucial during long dry spells and high humidity periods. These conditions, along with traditional methods such as manual harvesting and minimal intervention in winemaking, create wines with exceptional quality and character.

The Concept of Contrada

Unique to the Mount Etna region is the concept of “contrada,” which goes beyond the typical definition of terroir to include both geological and historical aspects. A contrada is a specific geographic area on Mount Etna, characterized by its unique soil composition and microclimate. Contrada Blandano in Viagrande and Contrada Pralino in Milo are places rich in history, where vine cultivation has a millennial tradition confirmed by Greek mythology. In 2011, 133 contrade were legally recognized as Unità Geografiche Aggiuntive (UGA: ‘additional geographical units’), highlighting the extreme diversification of Etna’s soils. Each contrada results from millenary sedimentations of ashes, lapilli, and pumice, with boundaries shaped by the volcano’s incessant activity. In short, the contrada concept relates to both the geography and geology of the territory.

Sustainability as a Lifestyle

Terra Costantino’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond trendiness; it’s a core lifestyle. They employ organic farming practices, avoiding pesticides by using methods like “sexual confusion” to control pests. The vineyard integrates different grape varieties within the same terraces to enhance biodiversity and complexity in the wine. Traditional methods, such as manual harvesting and natural fermentation, are employed to maintain the authenticity of their wines. The use of natural predators and organic practices ensures the health of the vineyard, while the lack of irrigation forces vines to seek natural water sources, improving grape quality.

The Wines of Terra Costantino

During the visit, they had the pleasure of tasting six exceptional wines from Terra Costantino:

  1. Dea Etna Rosato (Rosé): A delightful blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio grapes, this rosé is fruity and high in acidity, making it the perfect party wine. It pairs well with a variety of foods and is easy to drink.
  2. Dea Etna Bianco (White): Named after the book “Dea Etna,” this white wine features flavors of green apple and citrus fruits, with high acidity that allows it to age well. It pairs wonderfully with fish and other light dishes.
  3. Contrada Blandano Bianco 2018: Ages in French oak barrels for eight months and then spends three years in the bottle, deriving from very old vines.. It boasts complex flavors of honey, balsamic notes, dried apricot, and tamarindo, making it ideal for pairing with complex dishes like Pescestocco a Messina (stockfish Messina style) and fatty fish.
  4. Etna Rosso (Red): Made from Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, this elegant and velvety red wine features notes of violets, cherries, black pepper, and spices. It pairs well with pasta dishes, Parmigiana, and lighter meats.
  5. Bianco Superiore: Produced from 100% Carricante grapes, this high-quality white wine has sharp acidity and green apple flavors, perfect for fatty fish and complex dishes. Its high acidity also allows it to age for many years.
  6. Contrada Blandano Bianco 2018 (Aged): Aged in French oak barrels for eight months and three years in the bottle, this elegant wine has aromas of honey, balsamic notes, dried apricot, and tamarindo. It pairs well with rich and sophisticated dishes like roasted Faraona chicken and venison.

Why Visit Terra Costantino?

Visiting Terra Costantino offers more than just a wine tasting. It provides an educational experience that deepens your understanding of sustainable practices and historical winemaking techniques. The winery’s tours highlight its commitment to biodiversity, organic methods, and farm-to-table philosophy, making it a destination worth exploring for any wine enthusiast. By visiting, you not only enjoy exceptional wines but also support a family-owned business dedicated to preserving the land and its traditions for future generations.

Terra Costantino’s award-winning wines are designed to be both immediately drinkable and age-worthy, with some capable of aging for decades. I look forward to tasting the two wines that were sent for my review and sharing my thoughts with you soon.

Buon viaggio!

Special thanks to Lisa Tommasini (PR Comunicare il Vino) for arranging the hosted visit; Terra Costantino and assistant winemaker Salvatore for their hospitality; and Banville Wine for the wine. Photos by Fuse Travels.

Read about other wineries in Sicily discovered at a Sicilia DOC tasting seminar in Miami.


  • Lisa Morales

    Based in Miami, I am the Editor-in-Chief for Live in Italy Magazine. I am a member of the International Food Wine Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) and contributor to internationally recognized art; food and wine; and travel publications. In my free time, I love to cook and bake; take photographs; go for nature walks; and run on the beach. I am WSET 2 Certified and working on the CSW. I look forward to getting to know you! Follow Us @LiveInItalyMag 🇮🇹.

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  • Feuza Reis

    My name is Feuza, but everyone calls me Fuse. I am originally from Brazil and have been traveling all my life, but then I became obsessed with Italy. I launched my TikTok and travel blog in 2021, sharing my Italian adventures and other Southwest Europe travel. I am a member of The International Food Wine Travelers Association (IFWTWA), leaning deeper into travel journalism. I am also a professional photographer and SEO strategist. My style of travel is slow travel. I like finding the oldest cafes and bars in town, and I imagine how it would be to live there. Travel fuels my soul, and I am beyond excited to be a contributor to Live in Italy.

    View all posts
Lisa Morales


Based in Miami, I am the Editor-in-Chief for Live in Italy Magazine. I am a member of the International Food Wine Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) and contributor to internationally recognized art; food and wine; and travel publications. In my free time, I love to cook and bake; take photographs; go for nature walks; and run on the beach. I am WSET 2 Certified and working on the CSW. I look forward to getting to know you! Follow Us @LiveInItalyMag 🇮🇹.

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