Sant’Andrea Bianco IGT
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.
Sant’Andrea shares a vineyard of pre-Phylloxera 120-year-old vines in Milo, on the eastern slopes of Etna, 853 meters (2,800 feet) above sea level, with the winery’s Archineri Etna Bianco. It is one of the most coveted areas for whites on all of Etna.
As Sant’Andrea is meant to be a top expression of all that Etna – and Carricante – has to offer, the grapes for this wine are treated like the prized berries they are. Firstly, they are carefully chosen from specific vines and specific parcels. They are then skillfully vinified in small French oak vats (20-hl in size), and are left to macerate for a quite a long period of time. The idea is to essentially bottle Etna’s identity. Wonderful aromas, great structure, freshness and minerality, not to mention a rich golden yellow, almost amber color, are its strengths. This wine perfectly shows the enormous potential of this enological paradise, which Is the ultimate goal of the winemaker.
Wine exported to
Canada, USA, Singapore, Australia, Turks and Caicos
Most recent awards
- 2015 | Wine Advocate94
- 2015 | Wine Spectator92
Length of alcoholic fermentation:
Type of yeast:
15 °C (59 °F)
Length of maceration:
French oak tank
3 years old
Type of oak:
Aging before bottling:
Aging in bottle:
Milo, Mount Etna, Sicily
.5 hectares (1.25 acres)
Volcanic, stony, sandy loam
Alberello, parcel selection
850 meters (2,788 feet) above sea level
9000 plants per hectare
Age of vines:
pre-Phylloxera 100-120 years old
Time of harvest:
First vintage of this wine:
Total yearly production (in bottles):
Dark golden yellow, almost amber. Aromas of ripe yellow peach and resin. With long persistence and freshness and elegance.
Best served at 10-12 °C (50- 53.6 °F).
Grilled tuna with various sauces. White meat and cheese.
Up to 15 years
Alc. Cont. by Vol.: 13.5%
Michele e Mario Faro