Rossa Agricola, Etna
In Catania, between Mount Etna and the Mediterranean Sea, we find the Strano family and their citrus groves. Once it was filled with vines, but because of phylloxera, they changed their business and replaced the vines with citrus. All plants are very strong and produce from 60 to 100 kg of Sicilian red oranges, protected under ‘Sicilian Red Orange PGI’.
The oranges are gowned naturally without chemicals. A choice made in favour of the welfare of the workers and for making oranges with the highest quality. Rossa Agricola has also invested in a modern drip system of water, that saves 30 % of the supply, comparing to their earlier systems used by most citrus growers on the island.
The colour of the oranges depends of two combinations. One one hand the presence of anthocyanins and on the other the climate conditions. Here, oranges are red in colour due to the reaction of these substances and to temperature changes in winter. On the slopes of Etna, between November and March, it goes from 5-6 degrees in night to 20 degrees during the day.
The Amara is made from the peels of their red oranges, various herbs and water from Etna. The best oranges are selected after harvest and washed one by one. The zest is put in alcohol for some time before blended with herbs, sugar and water. It takes 6 months to make the amara bottled and ready for shipment. The pulp that’s left over goes into a jam-production. Rossa amara comes in a 50 cl bottle and has a alcoholic strength of 30 % abv.