The harvest of the whites on Etna is rather fussy because every strata of volcanic soil is so different, and the process is quite in-depth and meticulous: the vines, even in the same row, ripen sporadically; whole sections are marked off with tape, showing where the grapes not yet ripe still hung heavy on the vines, these amidst rows of tightly packed vines that had already been relieved of their burdens. The care that goes into finding the optimal ripeness of each grape is what gives the wines a textural depth and richness, alongside the bright minerality. This is the first vintage where we kept the wine in the cellar for an additional year of bottle age before release.
Vineyard age: 12 years
Vineyard area: 4 hectares
Vineyard density: 12,300 vines per Ha
Vineyard altitude: 1,000 m a.s.l.
Yield per hectare: 33 Hl/Ha
Spraying: Clay, propolis, sulphur, copper, grapefruit seed extract
Vinification: Stainless steel vats for 20 days at 23 degrees Celcius
Aging: 12 months in cement vats and large oak barrels
Production: 17,000 bottles
“The 2014 Passobianco is a pure expression of Chardonnay that ages in large oak casks for four months and is later moved to cement vats for an additional eight months. This wine opens to a pretty, luminous appearance and it shows impressive aromatic intensity with whiffs of stone fruit, pear, toasted almond and volcanic sulfur smoke. This white should evolve nicely over the next five years or more. (Drink: 2017 – 2024)”
— Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate, 92 points