Pietradolce Contradas 2018

Located in Solicchiata, Michele Faro is among the new faces on Etna and a member of the fledgling group winemakers known as the “Etna Boys.” The estate was founded in 2005 and has 11 hectares of vineyard on the north face of Etna ranging from 600 to 900 meters above sea level. Pietradolce was developed with the help of consulting oenologist Carlo Ferrini. THE WINE ADVOCATE

Etna’s star continues to rise and it is easy to see why when you taste wines like those in today’s offer. From the slopes of this towering active volcano rising 3000 metres above sea level comes wines like no other anywhere in the world. While you might be sweltering on the ancient winding streets of Palermo below, up high on Mt Etna there may still be snow on the peaks.

It’s this combination of warm sun-drenched days and bitterly cold nights, combined with the patchwork of volcanic soils strewn across the mountain, that make Etna a winemaking wonderland, and it’s young, passionate winemakers like Pietradolce’s Michele Faro that are introducing these special wines to the world.

While Sicily has a winemaking history dating back to the 17th century BC, the group of winemakers making waves on the slopes of Etna have only been here since the 1990s, taking over abandoned vineyards and breathing new life into them.

Michele Faro is one of the rising stars in this maverick group, launching his Pietradolce estate in 2005 on the northern slopes of Mount Etna, working with 80-90+ year old vines from some of the best sites on the mountain.

Faro’s Etna Bianco and Rosso are both excellent but it is his contrada, or single site wines which can really capture your imagination. These small production wines are beautifully succinct in their expression of their sites and showcase the wild and unique terroirs of Etna with remarkable clarity.

These are wines laden with minerality, fragrance and depth, each with a character of their own from the supremely elegant and perfumed Santo Spirito, to the tightly wound and muscled Archineri, to the understated power and intoxicating wild fennel tinged nose of Rampante, these are wines that can silence a room such is their intrigue.