Viticulture on Mount Etna has extremely ancient origins, and winemaking in the region is now experiencing a phase of renaissance. The wines are made with Nerello Mascalese, the grape that grows all over the mountain, and there exclusively. It is grown in many different mixes of lava from the old eruptions and at remarkably different elevations. These vineyards are quite separate from each other and are Mount Etna’s distinct and accurately mapped crus, here called Contrade.
At Passopisciaro, we have 26 hectares (64 acres) of vines across the northern face of Mount Etna, from which we produce six different bottlings of Nerello Mascalese. These showcase the profound differences in the terroir – lava flow, aspect, and altitude – of the various Contrade that we work with: Rampante, Sciaranuova, Guardiola, Porcaria, and Chiappemacine.
Around our winery in the Contrada of Guardiola, we have also planted 4 hectares (10 acres) of Chardonnay, from which we produce our Passobianco, and 2 hectares (5 acres) of Petit Verdot and Cesanese d’Affile, which are used to make Franchetti.