Benanti – Sicily, Italy
The Benanti family, whose Sicilian roots date back to 1734, were true pioneers of Etna with Giuseppe Benanti being the first to realise the true potential for this unique volcanic region. Etna would not be what it is today, were it not for the visionary work of Giuseppe Benanti. The winery, which was set up in 1988 has, over time, sold off the lesser deemed plots of land and acquired further plots in the most prestigious slopes and Contrada. Now totalling 28 hectares, the winery only produces wines from Nerelo Mascalese, Nerelo Capuccio and Carricante. At the top of the pyramid lie the iconic wines which include Pietra Marina Etna Bianco Superiore, located in the Rinazzo Contrada on the eastern slopes of the mountain made from 100% Carricante; Serra della Contessa Particella no 587 Etna Rosso Riserva is now made from an even smaller and rare parcel of pre-phylloxera vines within the Monte Serra Contrada; Rovitello Particella no 341 Etna Rosso Riserva, along with Pietra Marina, was one of the first wines to be vinified at the winery in 1990 and comes from the terraced vineyards in Contrada Dafara Galuzzo on the northern slopes of Etna. The Contrada selection include Contrada Dafara Galuzzo Etna Rosso, Contrada Rinazzo Etna Bianco Superiore, Contrada Monte Serra Etna Rosso, Contrada Cavaliere Etna Bianco, Contrada Cavaliere Etna Rosso, and the very rare 100% Nerello Capuccio Terre Siciliane Rosso. The classic range then comprises an Etna Bianco, Rosato and Rosso DOC. The winery farms organically, and have seamlessly blended the essence of traditional winemaking in the region, coxing the true essence of this magical terroir with the best of modern winemaking techniques and viticulture. Benanti, now run by Giuseppe’s twin sons Salvino and Antonio, strive only for excellence, to uphold the traditions of their father and to further raise the profile of the best wines from Mount Etna.