Top 5 Wineries to Visit in Etna, Sicily

16 Jul, 2018 | by Will Protheroe. | 1 min read
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Home to the tallest active volcano in Europe and birthplace of the irresistible, sweet ricotta-filled, crunchy pastry ‘cannoli’, Sicily has a long history of wine production made up of numerous regions scattered all over the island. In the north-east of the island, vineyards and wineries coat the shoulders of Etna to form a horseshoe around the mountain. Whilst the island is probably most popularly known in the wine world for its production of Marsala, named after the town located on the west coast, here we focus on the easterly region of Etna; with its snow-capped vineyards in the winter months that can soar to over 30°C in the summer, this unique region benefits from mineral volcanic soils and cooling altitude as the vineyards clamber up the volcano edges. For tips on tracking down the highlights of the region, read on below...

Sciaranuova, Planeta

Sciaranuova, Planeta

Whether it’s the north, south, east or west of Sicily that draws your attention, Planeta have five wineries dotted around the island to cover each post. To the northern side of the volcano, Planeta have restored old buildings of the Sciaranuova estate as their centre for hospitality in Etna, where they will welcome you to a tasting in the old pressing room and dinner in the old house. Here you can indulge in local fresh, crisp whites made from Carricante and rich, powerful, award-winning reds made from Nerello Mascalese, with or without tailored cuisine as you wish. With outstanding hospitality and a series of tastings to choose from, you’re in very safe hands with Planeta.

Want to visit? Click here and explore!

Passopisciaro, Vini Franchetti

Similarly situated on the northern side of the region, Vini Franchetti is all about limited wine production from carefully picked estate-grown fruit. Chardonnay, Cesanese d’Affile and the Bordeaux variety Petit Verdot are all grown alongside the flagship indigenous variety, Nerello Mascalese. With crusty black gravel underfoot on steep mountain-side vines, each wine of Passopisciaro reflects a sense of place and the character of the growing year. With 6 of the 8 wines produced here centring on Nerello Mascalese, this is the winery to satisfy your taste for local Sicilian reds of Etna.

Want to visit? Click here to request an appointment!

Vini Biondi

Family owned since the 1800s, Vini Biondi is located on the southern side of the region. The wines crafted here tend to be naturally lighter in body and intensity compared with those produced in the northern parts of the region. To compensate, Nerello Mascalese’s richer, more deeply coloured sibling, Nerello Cappuccio, plays a larger role in the blends. Following a period of decline in the aftermath of the second World War, the Biondi family restructured their vineyards and turned focus towards production of high quality wines. They celebrate ownership of 3 separate vineyards by producing 3 different ‘crus’: one from each plot, all with distinguishable character.

Want to visit? Click here to get in touch!

Gambino Vini

Settled in a more coastal direction on the eastern slopes of Etna, Gambino Vini is another family established winery that seeks to strike the ideal balance between tradition and technology. Their ‘grower’ approach to winemaking sees the family striving to reflect a sense of terroir and authenticity, vintage by vintage across their wines. Ascend the volcano side to the Gambino Vini where a tour of the vineyard and cellar will act as precursor to a tasting that can be tailored to your group size and preferences in this unique microcosm of a winery.

Want to visit? Book your tasting here!

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Gambino Vini

Tenuta di Fessina

Landmarked by an eighteenth-century lava millstone which stands as a centrepiece amongst decades old Nerello Mascalese vines, Tenuta di Fessina was a project born in 2007. Encircled by ancient lava flows and planted 670 metres above sea level, the winemakers here do not follow organic practices and certification, but rather a “vine-conscious” minimal intervention approach to produce their elegant and aromatic, yet structured red and white wines. You can select from an array of experiences when you visit, or even stay in one of the seven charming rooms on site for the full experience.

Want to visit? Book your stay or tasting here!


Falling for Sicily? Read our guide to Marsala and its wineries here

Tenuta di Fessina

Liking the sound of Sicily? Find out more about this jewel in the Mediterranean and its rich Marsala tradition. Or maybe Catalunya is more your game...

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