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Everything Wine And More
October 3, 2021 | Wine | Everything Wine And More

Treasures of Mount Etna

Mount Etna and the entire Etna area is undoubtedly Italy's single hottest wine production zone. Very old and pre-phylloxera vines live here which help to create high quality grapes, in turn creating extraordinary wine. Prior to 2000, the area (and its grapes) were not even heard of, let alone mentioned, but many new and moneyed owners are moving into the area with new estates springing up on a regular basis! Like Pinot Noir (which Nerello Mascalese is often compared to), there is a great ability to translate even minute differences in terroir.  Nerello Mascalese is a grape of incredible quality, and individual areas, called contrade, like a grand cru, showcase how those specific terroirs create wines of incredible nuance and flavour to yield remarkably different wines.

In 2000 Andrea Franchetti, the owner of Passopisciaro (which is a small town located 1000m below the mountain) decided to restore an old farm and cellars on the slopes of Mount Etna, an active volcano in northeastern Sicily.  His arrival on Etna helped to initiate the renaissance of viticulture on the mountain and an international discovery of the wines of Etna, which now boasts some of the most exciting viticulture in all of Italy. The high altitude, sun-drenched vineyards are idyllic, yet the "smoking gun" of Mt. Etna is a constant reminder that she is indeed an active volcano with attitude, given to relatively frequent lava spills. These spills devastate the landscape, yet each flow leaves a unique mineral profile, giving rise to the notion of various terroirs, here called contrade. Franchetti makes nine different wines at Passopisciaro, mostly focusing on the grape Nerello Mascalese.

Passopisciaro Contrada "R" 2018

98 Points Wine Enthusiast

Passopisciaro Contrada "S" 2018

98 Points Wine Enthusiast


Passopisciaro Passorosso 2018

91 Points Wine Enthusiast



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