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. 

All wines by this producer (4)

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"The 2018 Contrada Chiappemacine (C) is incredibly pretty and flashy in the glass. Sweet florals, cherries, strawberries and spices find balance through a grounding note of grilled herbs. It’s silky and pliant in feel, almost creamy, but contrasted by tart red and black berries, and a mineral thrust that creates a more tactile feel toward the close. Inner rose and salted licorice linger along with a hint of savory herbs, all over a nuanced layer of round tannins. The Chiappemacine, hailing from one of the warmer and lower-elevation vineyards in the Passopisciaro portfolio, is already very easy to like." 93 points, Eric Guido, Vinous (June 2021)


(Contrada S 2019) "Just mid ruby. Iron and raspberry. A sense of depth and richness on the nose but still a little subdued. A hint of oak. Mouth-watering raspberry fruit palate but not tart. A firm layer of fine-grained tannin. Very elegant, yet gripping and layered." 18 points, Walter Speller (August 2021)