Etna Rosso DOC
Pietradolce, means “sweet stone” in Italian and is an ode to Etna. The volcanic soil covering the slopes is very stony, sandy and mineral-rich. The Etna volcano’s abundant mineral components and microclimate – cool nights, warm days and wide-ranging temperature variations – give Pietradolce wines extraordinary richness, minerality, fragrance and depth.
Mount Etna is still very active – one of the most active in the world. It is also Europe’s highest volcano, soaring up to 3,322 meters or 10,990 feet (but altitude varies slightly depending on eruptions). The winery, on Mount Etna’s northern slopes, is far enough from the actual peak for safety, yet close enough to make the most of this special terroir. Vineyard surface is over 11 hectares (27 acres) and altitude ranges from 650 to 900 meters (2,135 to 2,955 feet) above sea level. This makes for particularly fragrant, focused aromas.
The winery itself is young – founded in 2005 by brothers Michele and Mario Faro. However, Michele and Mario are no strangers to vines, roots, stock, grafts and scions – they are, according to Gambero Rosso’s 2013 Wines of Italy, “two of the world’s top experts in nursery gardening.” Not surprisingly given their background, the pillar of the Faro philosophy is the brothers’ total respect for their territory, for native grapes and for ancient, traditional training systems: bush-trained vines. Combining the best of tradition and modern technology, Pietradolce’s boutique-sized production is eco-friendly and aims for “maximum respect for the Etna heritage.” It represents Etna’s purest and fullest expressions, from very, very old vineyards pre-Phylloxera.
Nerello Mascalese has grown for centuries in and around Etna and it thrives in the sandy volcanic soil and in the long growing seasons of the elevated slopes of the Etna volcano. The wines from Etna are often compared to the best Pinot Noirs in the world and in Italy, the area is often referred to as “the Burgundy of Italy,” because of the wine’s similarities to the highly esteemed French counterpart.
This particular version comes from a single vineyard near the town of Castiglione di Sicilia, 600 meters (1,968 feet) above sea level. It ages three months in French, fine-grained oak barrels that have been lightly toasted. Trademark Etna Rosso features abound in this entry-level version: a virtual explosion of flavor, full of fruity and floral aromas, laced with sweet spice. Lovely acidity, preserved by the cool overnight temperatures and elegant tannins.
Wine exported to
Canada, USA, Singapore, Australia, Turks and Caicos
100% Nerello Mascalese
Length of alcoholic fermentation:
Type of yeast:
22-28 °C (71.6-82.4 °F)
Length of maceration:
2/6 years old
Type of oak:
French, fine-grained, light toast
Aging before bottling:
Aging in bottle:
Solicchiata, Mount Etna, Sicily
4 acres (10 acres)
Volcanic, stony, sandy loam
800 meters (2,625 feet) above sea level
4500 plants per hectare
Age of vines:
11-30 years old
Time of harvest:
First vintage of this wine:
Total yearly production (in bottles):
Berries and brushwood; elegance, minerality and long-lasting on the palate.
Best served at 16-18 °C (60.8-64.4 °F).
Pairs well with red tuna, caponata (typical Sicilian dish similar to ratatouille), white meat and cheese.
Up to 10 years
Alc. Cont. by Vol.: 14.5%
Michele e Mario Faro