Born in Hong Kong, Stef grew up in Los Angeles where he became a Sommelier at top restaurants. He quickly became fascinated with wines from volcanic soils, after wines from these soils repeatedly beat Grand Cru Burgundy and other cult wines in his blind tastings.
To learn winemaking, Stef worked for wineries in Lake County (US), Madiran (France) and the Canary Islands (Spain), before purchasing a plot of land in Contrada Taccione on Mount Etna and built his own winery in 2014 (Azienda Agricola Sciara). Nowadays, he owns land in nine different Contrada, including some of the most famous and well known ones: Barbabecchi, Feudo di Mezzo, Rampante, Sciaranuova, Tartaraci and others.
Stef's winemaking is organic and low-intervention, with natural yeast fermentation, no filtration and chemical additions. Depending upon the grape, terroir, and vintage characteristics, a different mix of vessels (from barriques, ceramic tanks, glass fibre tanks, clay pots, glass demijohn) and winemaking methods are employed to make the best wine.
He has an unique vision of what Etna wines are: he makes wines which express the characteristics of Etna at different altitudes. Instead of making single Contrada wines, wines from Sciara are labelled according to their average altitudes above sea levels: 760 m, 980 m, and 1200 m. For example, 760 m is a blend of grapes from Contrada Sciaranuova and Taccione, 980 m is a blend of grapes from Contrada Carrana, Monte Dolce, and Barbabecchi, but 1200 m is a single Contrada wine (Nave).
Azienda Agricola Sciara Etna Rosso 980 metri 2018