Benanti Etna Bianco
The Benanti winery was founded in 1988 by Giuseppe Benanti in the shadow of mount Etna. Wine had been produced by the family for several generations, mostly for private consumption, until Giuseppe finally decided to establish the winery with the aim of preserving the unique terroir of Etna’s volcanic slopes, whilst cherishing and developing the indigenous Etnean varieties.
The winery is now run by Giuseppe’s two sons Antonio and Salvino who have continued the original aim to respect the varietal characteristics of the Etnean varieties, by adopting and maintaining a very traditional approach and philosophy. Describing their wines as ‘slow wines’, the brothers ensure nothing is rushed in Benanti winemaking; they are committed to producing only high quality wines from vineyards located on different slopes of Mount Etna, so as to highlight the uniqueness of the many different terroirs within the Etna DOC region.
The area provides a unique microclimate due partly to the proximity to the sea, partly to the volcanic soil and also to the cone-shaped surface of the slopes which provide excellent exposure to the sun. The sea breezes and the altitude ensure the grapes are cooled in what would otherwise be a very hot climate, and therefore the ripening process reaches its full potential but, crucially, without being rushed.
The Etna Bianco is produced with Carricante grapes that grow in 35-50 year old vineyards on the southern and eastern slopes of Mount Etna at about 700 – 950 metres above sea level. Due to the substantial difference in diurnal temperatures, the grapes are late ripening and are harvested by hand in the last fortnight of October. After being gently pressed, the fruit is slowly fermented in stainless steels vats at 18-20°C using patented selected indigenous yeasts for 15 days. And is then left to mature in the same vats before 2 months of bottle refinement.
The wine displays delicious ripe red and green apple aromas with a hint of ripe pear. On the palate the intense fruit is complimented by a slightly rich mouthful and balanced by a refreshing acidity and a bright aromatic persistance on the finish. This is a wine born to match with all seafood.