Indigenous Sicilian grape that produces pale, lean, and
delicate "northern" wines that are reminiscent of Pinot
In 2000, winemaker Andrea Franchetti purchased the
vineyard at Passopisciaro, alongside the famous
volcano Mt. Edna on the western coast of Sicilia. He
quickly began to reconstruct a little vineyard, and the
planting already in ground were moved and shifted to
his liking. The Nerello Mascalese varietal which
comprises the Passopisciaro Rosso, is of entirely new
plantings, dense, and entered production in 2005.
Sicily's wine history dates back to ancient Greece, when
the tiny island was a Hellenic colony. Though most
famous for its sweet Marsala produced on the western
side of the isle, Sicily also features a broad pallette of
exciting dry wines made from native varietals that hail
from its eastern coastal region. Carricante, for example,
is a white wine grape that's indigineous to the black
ashen soils of Italy's largest active volcano, Mt. Etna.
Nero d'Avola is Sicily's most famous red wine grape,
though Nerello Mascalese grown further north of Avola
in the Catania region may give it a run for its money in
the near future. No matter what kind of wine you enjoy,
Sicily's got something that will kick-start your palate.