The fabulous Villarica Winery (the home of our delicious Chilean Villarica Merlot was named after one of Chile’s most active volcanoes. There are just a handful of volcanoes in the world that have active lava lakes within their crater. This is one of them. If you’re flying to Chile, be sure to drop off in the Maule Valley and hire a helicopter for the day!
Following in the footsteps of other explorers of great wine, I discovered that grapes grown in volcanic ash have mixed results. In Hawaii, they tend to blend grape wine with pulp fruits (I won’t be listing those), but in Sicily, the local grape Nerello Mascalese has made impressive wines since the ’90s. Powerful, intense with quirky qualities, with the suggestion that you can almost taste the ash in them!
By the way, Villarica last erupted in 2008, Etna erupted in 2012 and Kilauea on Hawaii has been continuously erupting since 1983.