Introduction to Aeris

In advance of the inaugural offering of our first Aeris wine tomorrow morning, Tuesday April 24th, we thought we should send our customers a short introduction and explanation of Aeris.

Aeris is a new label produced by the Rhys Vineyards team that is focused on wines made from the Italian grapes Nebbiolo, Carricante and Nerello Mascalese. For the last 10 years we have been hard at work on this project – finding the perfect site, importing and planting grapevines never before grown in California, learning the best methods of growing these novel vines, and it is extremely exciting to finally have an outstanding example of these grapes to share with our customers.

As a bit of background, Aeris wines are grown in both the Old World and New World from estate owned vineyards. Our Sicilian vineyards are located on the very best sites on the island’s volcano, Mt. Etna, while our California vineyard sits perched on a remote mountain top in California’s coastal range. Over the next few years as our vineyards mature, our offerings of wine will slowly expand and in the future we expect to have one offering of California wines and one offering of Sicilian wines each year.

Meanwhile, we are extremely excited about the first wine to be offered under the Aeris label. It is produced from 80 year old Carricante vines grown in the town of Milo, found on the eastern slope of Sicily’s towering Mt. Etna volcano. We firmly believe that Carricante is one of the world’s greatest white wine grapes and this first wine is a terrific example of this grape’s vast potential. Upon tasting it, Esther Mobley, wine writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, proclaimed, “It may be the best white wine you’ve never tasted!” For her article please click here.

Carricante produces a very complex white wine with intoxicating aromatics, racy acidity and layers of nuanced flavors. In his benchmark book “Native Wine Grapes of Italy” Ian D’Agata describes Carricante as “very refined and pure in its graceful mineral aromas and racy, lemony flavors, complicated by aniseed, green apple, orange flower, chamomile, and unripe apricot” and goes on to say Carricante is “potentially one of Italy’s greatest cultivars, white or red.” Carricante is extremely versatile with food and appeals to a very broad range of tastes. While we know that some will try this for the novelty, we expect that many customers will find that this is a white wine that they will enjoy with great frequency and possibly even more than Chardonnay.

Like all of our future Sicilian wine offerings, this first Carricante was produced in partnership with Salvo Foti. Salvo is renowned for his life’s work propagating the indigenous grapes of Mt. Etna as well as the amazing examples of Carricante that he has produced. For more on Salvo, please click here.

This first Aeris wine, the 2014 Aeris Etna Bianco Superiore, will be offered at $59 per bottle including shipping. Also please note that given Aeris’ lack of sales history, this offering will be made on a first come, first served basis and the allocation is not guaranteed. So please respond quickly when the offering email reaches your inbox tomorrow morning!