2018 Antichi Vinai Etna Bianco Petralava

Year: 2018
Appellation: Sicilia
Country: Italy
Wine Advocate: 90
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.5%
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"Opening to a clear and brilliant appearance, the 2018 Etna Bianco Petralava is a very pretty wine with an easy-drinking style. The bouquet opens to citrus, white melon and aniseed. Summer peach appears at the back. This type of fresh Carricante blend is great with lightly fried seafood or shrimp. The blend is 85% Carricante and 15% Catarratto, and you get good value here. Production is 25,000 bottles.

Due to the rain and difficult weather experienced at the end of the 2018 growing season, this estate did not produce its top-end Etna Rosso Riserva Koinè in that vintage. As a housekeeping note, the brand name seemed to have been shortened from Antichi Vinai 1877 to Antichi Vinai, without the founding date. But I have left it as is for now. This winery also sent samples of its 2013 Etna Rosso Riserva Koinè, but that wine was already reviewed last year." (WA)

Winery Notes:
Way back in 1877 the Gangemi family began farming on the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna. With over a century of experience it makes sense why they are known as Antichi Vinai or “ancient vintners”. The torch has been passed for 5 generations, each adding their own unique contributions and it’s currently led by Giuseppe Gangemi with his daughter Viviana as his protege.

Most of their vineyards are located in the North and Northeastern parts of the volcano rising from 600m-1000m a.s.l. The vines are at least 20 years old with some Nerello Mascalese plantings registering around 70 years in age and looking quite rustic with their stand alone bush trellising. With time honored respect to the land they practice organic farming, for not only the vines, but for the array of wild fig and citrus trees that populate the area. Manual harvests and aging in neutral barrels of slavonian oak and chestnut aid their efforts to express the elegance and distinction of Etna.

Being the most active volcano in Europe Mount Etna can wreak-havoc. On any given day you can be subject to a volcanic eruption, yet the Gangemi’s stay composed. They remain focused on their work and live by the philosophy that “Etna has always given more than it has taken”.