2018 Passopisciaro “Contrada Sciara Nuova”
2018 Passopisciaro “Contrada Sciara Nuova” Contrada Sciaranuova is located at 850 m (2,800 ft) above sea level on Mount Etna. In Sicilian, “sciara nuova” means “new lava flow.” The vines here are planted on relatively new lava flow from the 1600s that has turned into thick gravel. The wines produced from this site are bright, aromatic, and have a rich taste of fermented hay and a dusty herbal quality. We own 1 hectare of this tiny cru and produce about 2,000 bottles annually of our Contrada S.
Andrea Franchetti works with two very different vineyard projects. Franchetti created his first estate Tenuta di Trinoro from scratch, on rough farm and woodland in the far-flung reaches of southwest Tuscany in Italy. Though a significant challenge, this was equaled by his endeavor on the slopes of Mt. Etna, which involved the renaissance of reclaimed formerly abandoned terraces of vines upon Sicily’s live volcano.
Both sites are extraordinary, complex, and poles apart in terms of terroir. From both his Tuscan and Sicilian estates, Franchetti has produced a portfolio of wines that is rich and diverse. Each wine expresses the characteristics of the vintage, the particulars of the locations, and the fullest potential of the varieties.
Volcanoes are gloomy places, and when I arrived, Mt. Etna was even gloomier because it was an abandoned volcano. Wineries lay collapsed all over its slopes; stonewalled terraces disappeared everywhere up the mountain in the bushes. There was the misery of blackened streets and ashen churches in large old towns. These were the feelings I had in the winter of 2000 when I first came to Etna. It seemed crazy to restore vineyards so high up the mountain – above, it was erupting – but I liked that they were planted so high.