The wine revolution occurred on Etna at the turn of the last century and this, through the work of figures such as Giuseppe Benanti, Marc de Grazia, Andrea Franchetti and Salvo Foti (each with its own identity), had the merit of bringing this volcano back to the center of the debate on Sicilian wines tout court. In the wake of the enthusiasm aroused by these figures, many have begun, or started again, to produce wine in the various districts of Etna, as in the case of Pietradolce winery. Everything started in 2005 when Michele Faro, descendant of a family that owns a famous garden centre, specialized in fruit plants, in Giarre, began his adventure by buying a first vineyard in Solicchiata, on the north side of Etna.
The vineyards, which today have become three, for a total of 11 hectares between 600 and 900 meters above sea level, in the districts of Rampante and Zottorinoto, have been renovated by Michele preserving one of the most valuable assets: the pre-phylloxera vines of the late ‘800. The planting system has been revised with an approach that combines tradition, the historic Etnean tree, and modernity, the guyot pruning, which allows an orderly growth of the fruits and foliar apparatus. The same mix was adopted for the construction of the cellar, which took place using local materials, such as lava stone, combining them according to modern and eco-sustainable construction techniques such as underground development, natural insulation and electrical savings.
Among the wines produced, the entry-level ones are Etna Bianco and Rosso, with the latter obtained from 100% Nerello Mascalese grapes grown in the vineyard of Solicchiata, at 800 meters above sea level. Once harvested manually, the grapes are gently pressed before fermenting and macerating, in contact with the skins, for just over two weeks. The malolactic fermentation takes place spontaneously in tonneaux where the wine ages for 3 months before bottling and marketing.
The 2019 vintage shows a color between the light ruby and garnet, with an olfactory fan that opens on notes of sour cherry, tomato concentrate, roast meat and laurel, followed by date, orange blossom, licorice root and roasted coffee. The palate is very fresh and juicy, with a lively and scratchy tannins and a good balance between acidity and sapidity; all enriched by the return of red fruit and spices that lead the sips to a close on notes of bergamot and vinyl.
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