Passopisciaro

Located on the northern slopes of Mount Etna, Passopisciaro is a pioneering project from acclaimed winemaker Andrea Franchetti, the sequel to that of his iconic Super Tuscan estate, Tenuta di Trinoro. Few places are more fascinating in terms of terroir than Etna, and Passopisciaro, alongside a handful of other producers, are responsible for the renaissance of this unique and truly expressive land.


In 2000, Franchetti took a trip to Sicily, where he came across some very old, abandoned vineyards, on the northern side of the active volcano. An intuitive eye for potential and his venturous nature led him to purchase the dilapidated property, setting out to revive the neglected Nerello Mascalese vines, restore the cellar, and establish new plantings of international varieties (which has long been his passion); Petit Verdot, Cesanese di Affile and Chardonnay.


Twenty years on, the estate has 24 hectares of low yielded vines, grown on steep terraces of mineral-rich volcanic subsoil, at a considerably high altitude of over 1000 meters above sea level. Amongst the first to realize the area's potential, Franchetti became part of the creation and promotion of the concept of Contrada wines, a quality system which follows the model of the Burgundy cru, and reflects the many individual personalities of Etna - part of what has transformed this once over-looked region into what it is today.


Through terroir-driven, quality focussed winemaking, Andrea Franchetti makes distinctive wines of immaculate structure and elegance, which stay true to the typicity of this expressive and energetic terroir. Passopisciaro produce six Contrada wines from their top single-vineyard sites; Chiappemacine "C", Rampante "R", Porcaria "P", Guardiola "G", Sciaranuova "S", and Passo Chianche "PS". In addition to their two hallmark house styles, Passorosso a blend of Nerello Mascalese from different altitudes and terroirs, and Passobianco which is 100% Chardonnay. Some of the very best examples coming from Etna, they have received critical acclaim from top critics across the world. 

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"Here's an exciting new wine from Etna's great Tuscan interloper, Andrea Franchetti. His Passopisciaro Vini Franchetti 2018 Contrada PC is an IGT Terre Siciliane wine, much like many of the others in this portfolio, only this time we are faced with a pure expression of Chardonnay made after many years of experience and experimentation with this grape on volcanic soils. This pretty wine reveals a light golden color with medium color saturation. The bouquet is rich and generous with candied fruit, honey, apricot, cumin and a pinch of sweet cinnamon spice. This verges on being an all-out full-bodied wine (thanks to 10 months' aging in oak casks on the fine lees), but it holds back just a bit thanks to an elegant and more slender mid-palate. This release of 2,660 bottles represents a nuanced, age-worthy white, the product of arduous labor from steep, terraced vineyards in the Contrada PC (Passochianche) at 870 to 950 meters in elevation." 93+ points, Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (October 2021)