Russo’s dad was a charcoal seller who cultivated grapes to sell in bulk from the family home in Passopisciaro. But as Russo took over, an Etna renaissance was blooming with the first wave of foreigners who began bottling wines that were nothing like the acidic, rustic, local Nerello. Passopisciaro was becoming the center of the scene, and Russo decided to join in. Russo credits three key Etna transplants with teaching him valuable lessons. From extreme natural winemaker Frank Cornelissen he learned patience in waiting to pick mature fruit. From Italian-American Marco de Grazia of Tenuta delle Terre Nere he got the idea for single-vineyard crus. And from the Roman-by-way-of-Tuscany Andrea Franchetti of Passopisciaro winery, he learned that Nerello could make concentrated wines with evolved tannins.