Producer wine
Frank Cornelissen

COUNTRY :
Italy

REGION :
Sicilia

PRODUCTION :

Frank Cornelissen

Frank Cornelissen is the owner of 19 hectares of vines rather high up on Mount Etna. Uniquely, he has been involved in wine his entire life. As the son of a wine broker in Belgium, he had the opportunity to be immersed in wine on a professional level from a very young age. Frank went on to produce his first wine in 2001 when he started with only 0.40 hectares of vines.

Frank is obsessive over details in an effort to make wines that truly express terroir with perspective. He is a meticulous vineyard worker and keeps an extremely clean and organized cellar. The evolution in his wines are intriguing as well. Earlier vintages were linear, angular, precise, and full of minerality. He has often said that in the early days his goal was to create liquid stone. His wines have softened with time now striking balance between fruit and dynamic minerality.
While there are are many important details in his winemaking method, the key is in the vineyards. Frank is not Sicilian, so choosing Mount Etna was deliberate. The main reason to choose the North Valley of Etna was for its it’s incredible and unique diversity of volcanic soils that have an immutable voice. This in tandem with Etna’s primary varietal Nerello Mascalese, he believed he could make wines of great complexity and distiction. He has describes Nerello Mascalese to be somewhere between Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo. Frank’s best wines have the dry and sharp tannins you find in great nebbiolo, but with the lusher fruits of Pinot Noir.

Frank works without the use of herbicides, pesticides, nor any other chemicals. He occasionally uses biodynamic treatments, but not in the ways outlined by biodynamic calendars as he feels his vineyards have their own unique schedule!

A few words by Frank himself…

“Our farming philosophy is based on our acceptance of the fact that man will never be able to understand nature’s full complexity and interactions. We therefore choose to concentrate on observing and learning the movements of Mother Earth in her various energetic and cosmic passages and prefer to follow her indications as to what to do, instead of deciding and imposing ourselves. Consequently this has taken us to avoiding all possible interventions on the land we cultivate, including any treatments, whether chemical, organic, or biodynamic, as these are all a mere reflection of the inability of man to accept nature as she is and will be. The divine ability to understand the ‘Whole’ was obviously not given to man as we are only a part of this complex and not God himself.”

In the winery his work follows the same philosophy of using what nature provides him. There are no industrial yeasts, sulfites, or anything else added to the wines. All of the wines are fermented in small, neutral tanks and no wood is used in the cellar in order for all the wines to express their specific territory to the full extent. Frank uses neutral epoxy tanks and anforas because he likes the round shape which allows the wines to be nourished with the fine lees moving freely during the aging process.

More Info Here

CUVÉES
Wine

“Munjebel VA” Bianco

Region: Sicily
Grape: 60% Grecanico Dorato, 30% Coda di Volpe, 10% Carricante
Vineyard: Tartaraci (in Maletto), Zacchino Pietre (in Linguaglossa), ungrafted vines, 920-1000m above sea level
Soil: volcanic
Average Age of Vines: 75 years
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, light crush, macerated on the skins 4 days
Aging: 18 months in epoxy tanks, 18 months in bottle
Fining: none
Filtration: 0.8 micron cartridges
Added S02: additions vary vintage to vintage

Wine

“Perpetuum”

Region: Sicily
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard: Etna, northern valley, 60+ year vines
Soil: volcanic
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: blend of multiple vintages
Aging: in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 5 micron cartridges
Added S02: additions vary vintage to vintage

Wine

“Pistemutta” Rosato

Region: Sicily
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard: Contrada Feudo di Mezzo, Etna, northern valley
Soil: volcanic
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, lightly crushed, macerated overnight, “contadino” style.
Aging: in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 5 micron cartridges
Added S02: minimal

Wine

“Pistemutta” Rosso

Region: Sicily
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard: Contrada Feudo di Mezzo, Etna, northern valley
Soil: volcanic
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, lightly crushed, macerated for 5 days, “contadino” style.
Aging: in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 5 micron cartridges
Added S02: minimal

Wine

“Munjebel PU”

Region: Sicily
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard Size: 19 hectares
Soil: volcanic
Average Age of Vines: 70 years
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, gentle press, 60 day fermentation on skins
Aging: in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 5 micron cartridges
Added S02: 0-30 mg/L

Wine

“Munjebel FM”

Region: Sicily
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard: Feudo di Mezzo, sottana (in frazione Passopisciaro, commune of Castiglione di Sicilia), 580m elevation
Soil: volcanic
Average Age of Vines: 40 years
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, gentle crush, 50 day fermentation on skins
Aging: in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 5 micron cartridges
Added S02: 0-30 mg/L

Wine

“Munjebel CR”

Region: Sicily
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard: Campo Re (in Randazzo), 730m elevation
Soil: volcanic
Average Age of Vines: 70 years
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, gentle press, 50 day fermentation on skins
Aging: 18 months in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 5 micron cartridges
Added S02: additions vary vintage to vintage

Wine

“Magma”

Region: Sicily
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard: Contrada Barbabecchi, frazione Solicchiata, commune of Castiglione di Sicilia
Soil: volcanic
Average Age of Vines: 100 years
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, gentle press, spontaneous fermentation in epoxy tanks with indigenous yeasts
Aging: in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 5 micron cartridges
Added S02: additions vary vintage to vintage

Wine

“Susucaru” Rosato

Region: Sicily
Grape: Malvasia, Moscadella, Catarratto, Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard Size: 19 hectares
Soil: volcanic
Average Age of Vines: 50 years
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, gentle press, 10 day maceration, spontaneous fermentation in epoxy tanks with indigenous yeasts
Aging: in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 1 micron polyethylene cartridges
Added S02: none

Wine

“Susucaru” Rosso

Region: Sicily
Grape: Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Capuccio, Minella Nera, Alicante Bouschet, Minella Bianco
Vineyard Size: 19 hectares
Soil: volcanic
Average Age of Vines: 50 years
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, gentle press, 60 day spontaneous fermentation in epoxy tanks with indigenous yeasts
Aging: in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 3 micron cartrdiges
Added S02: none

Wine

“Munjebel” Bianco

Region: Sicily
Grape: Grecanico Dorato, Carricante
Vineyard Size: 19 hectares
Soil: volcanic
Average Age of Vines: 40 years
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, gentle press, 4 day maceration, spontaneous fermentation in epoxy tanks with indigenous yeasts
Aging: in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 1 micron cartridges
Added S02: none

Wine

“Munjebel” Rosso

Region: Sicily
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard: Rampante Sottana, Crasà, Piano dei Daini as well as selections from the cru vineyards
Soil: volcanic
Average Age of Vines: 50 years
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, gentle press, 60 day spontaneous fermentation in epoxy tanks with indigenous yeasts
Aging: 12 months in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 5 micron cartridges
Added S02: additions vary vintage to vintage

Wine

“Munjebel MC”

Region: Sicily
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard: Monte Colla (in Castiglione di Sicilia), 750-780m elevation
Soil: volcanic
Average Age of Vines: 70 years
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, gentle crush, 50 day spontaneous fermentation in epoxy tanks with indigenous yeasts
Aging: in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 5 micron cartridges
Added S02: additions vary vintage to vintage

Wine

“Munjebel CS”

Region: Sicily
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard Size: 19 hectares
Soil: volcanic
Average Age of Vines: 80 years
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, gentle press, 60 day spontaneous fermentation in epoxy tanks with indigenous yeasts
Aging: in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 5 micron cartridges
Added S02: none

Wine

“Munjebel PA”

Region: Sicily
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard Size: 19 hectares
Soil: volcanic
Average Age of Vines: 60 years
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, gentle press, 60 day spontaneous fermentation in epoxy tanks with indigenous yeasts
Aging: in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 5 micron cartridges
Added S02: none

Wine

“Munjebel VA” Rosso

Region: Sicily
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard: Tartaraci (in Bronte), Barbabecchi and Rampante Soprana (in Barbabecchi), ungrafted vines, 870-1000m above sea level
Soil: volcanic
Average Age of Vines: 90 years
Farming: organic
Harvest: by hand
Winemaking: destemmed, gentle press, 60 day spontaneous fermentation in epoxy tanks with indigenous yeasts
Aging: in epoxy tanks
Fining: none
Filtration: 5 micron cartridges
Added S02: additions vary vintage to vintage