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 long growing seasons of the elevated slopes of the Etna volcano.
For their Rosato, Pietradolce chooses a selection of grapes from vineyards in the Zottorinoto Contrada in Solicchiata, on the northern slopes. It is actually made from the same grapes as Archineri, grown at 600 meters (1,970 feet) above sea level. The grapes partially macerate to achieve the lovely onion-skin color. The wine ages in stainless steel and in bottle. Clean, crisp, fresh with great balance. A keeper.
Wine exported to
Canada, USA, Singapore, Australia, Turks and Caicos
Most recent awards
- 2019 | Vini Buoni d'ItaliaGold Star
- 2017 | Wine Advocate92
- 2017 | Wine Enthusiast90
- 2017 | James Suckling92
- 2016 | Wine Spectator90
- 2016 | Vinous88
100% Nerello Mascalese
Length of alcoholic fermentation:
Type of yeast:
15 °C (59 °F)
Length of maceration:
Aging before bottling:
Aging in bottle:
Solicchiata, Mount Etna, Sicily
2 hectares (5 acres)
Volcanic, stony, sandy loam
700 meters above sea level
4500 plants per hectare
Age of vines:
35-40 years old
Time of harvest:
First vintage of this wine:
Total yearly production (in bottles):
Distinct minerality, acidity and complexity combined with an intense, ample bouquet of rich fruit. These characteristics make this a very supple and versatile wine.
Best served at 10 °12 C° C (46.4-50° F).
Pairs well with grilled vegetables and pizza. Very flexible wine
Up to 5 years
Alc cont.: 14% by volume
Michele e Mario Faro