Tasting notes: Carricante, the noble indigenous white grape variety of the Etna volcano. This Carricante is terroir-reflective, smoky, and loaded with ashy notes of citrus, stone fruit, and crushed rocks. A delicious introduction to some of Sicily’s best!
Producer: Winemaking in the Benanti family can be traced back to the late 1800s in Viagrande. This deep-rooted passion for wine is what led Giuseppe Benanti to establish the namesake winery in 1988. Located on Mount Etna, “an island within the island” of Sicily, the Benanti family produces wines using 100% native grapes – Carricante, Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. With vineyards positioned on four different slopes of the Etna volcano: North, East, South-East and South-West, the climatic influence and volcanic soils from each slope combine to create territorial wines with a “sense of place.” Benanti is the only winery with vineyards on every slope of the Etna DOC area.
Vineyard and Winemaking: If you haven't tried the wines from Benanti, this is an excellent introduction to their white wines from Mount Etna. This comes from the east and southeast of the mountain and is made from younger vines of Carricante.
Known for respecting the terroir and varietal characteristics, the wines of Benanti are elegant, balanced, refined and can improve with age. Focused on organic farming (not yet certified), the winery uses only selected proprietary indigenous yeasts. As Monica Larner of the Wine Advocate says: “Benanti’s winemaking history is synonymous with Etna winemaking history. In fact, the hard work and excellent wines produced at this historic winery are what catapulted this unknown part of Sicily to the enological forefront, Benanti’s wines are among the best made on the volcano today.”
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