ITALY is not only the world’s first or second most prolific wine producing nation (depending on the vintage), but also one of its most volcanically active. Italy contains the only active volcanoes in mainland Europe, notably Vesuvius and the Campi Flegrei, as well as plenty of island-bound volcanoes, including the island of Vulcano itself – the origin of the western world’s word volcano. Extinct volcanic wine regions are even more numerous.

For this conference, the focus is on the volcanic centres known to geologists as the Alpone-Chiampo Graben, which runs through the wine region of Soave, the Vulsini District in southern Tuscany and its corresponding Bianco di Pitigliano/Sovana DOC, the rich Campanian Volcanic Arc that has touched virtually every wine-growing corner of Campania, Monte Vulture in northern Basilicata, the only volcano east of the Apennines, and the Calabrian Volcanic Arc, which includes the still-fermenting magma chambers under Sicily’s magnificent Mount Etna.