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, Passopisciaro make distinctive wines of immaculate structure and elegance, which stay true to the typicity of this expressive and energetic terroir. They 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. Andrea is sadly no longer with us but his legacy lives on through the estate. 

All wines by this producer (7)


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"In 2021, the Franchetti is a gorgeous blending of 70% Petit Verdot and 30% Cesanese d’Affile, opening with a seductive cascade of violets, lavender, sage, chalk dust and sweet smoke. This is elegant and deeply textural, like weighted velvet and creamy in feel, energized by vibrant acidity that creates a sensation of contrasts that must be experienced to be believed. Ripe wild berries, blackberries and licorice envelope the palate. A web of sweet tannins gently settles on the palate as the 2021 leaves a resonance of black tea leaves and spice, tapering off dry and hauntingly dark. This may not have the energy of the 2020, but it impresses with its textural girth and understated power." 96 points, Eric Guido, Vinous (September 2023)

(Contrada R 2021) "Lighter color but a kaleidoscope of character from dried roses and other flowers, to cedar and dried lemon. Botanicals and perfume. Pumice. Medium-bodied with very polished tannins, like the finest silk. Caresses your palate. Better in two or three years but already glorious. Drink or hold." 98 points, Top 100 Wines of the Year 2023, James Suckling (November 2023)