Fessina Erse Etna Bianco 2020

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Tasting Notes

Aromas of stone, lemon and lemon blossoms, seashells and a touch of almond. This wine becomes considerably more fragrant with air, so open early to best enjoy its charms. It offers pronounced minerality on the palate, subtle fruit, light herbaceousness, and understated acidity. Medium bodied with a persistent saline finish.


Mount Etna, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to Europe’s highest active volcano (~11,000’), is seen as a living organism by locals. It saw its heyday in the late 19th century, when phylloxera had decimated the vineyards of France and she looked to Italy for grapes. Unfortunately the insect infected Sicily’s vineyards in the early 20th century. Etna, like most of the island, saw production drop precipitously, and it only began recovery about a century later. Fortunately, there were many abandoned vineyards ranging in age from 70 to 110 years old, now being reclaimed by an new generation of winemakers. Generally speaking, winemaking is dominated by indigenous Etna varieties: Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio for reds, Carricante and Catarretto for whites. Grapes for this wine come from two five-acre vineyards: Biancavilla at 3000 feet, planted in 1950, with a southern exposure; and Milo, planted in 1930, with an eastern exposure and some of the heaviest rainfall in Sicily.

Carricante originated in Sicily and its name, meaning “load,” refers to its propensity to high yields. It is naturally high in acidity, and is often harvested as late as early October to allow the acid level to drop. It is commonly grown as a bush vine, as is the case here. Catarretto, noted as early as 1696, has many clonal variants. It is a vigorous mid to late ripening variety and is grown throughout much of Sicily. It offers citrus and herb aromas with body, freshness, and a minerally aftertaste. Etna’s high thermal amplitude contributes to the classic Fessina style.

Grapes were harvested in October, with static decantation for 24-36 hours. The juice was racked and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, blended, and aged in bottle for six to eight months.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Cheese, Chicken/Turkey, Fish (white), Green Salads, Hors d'oeuvres, Just for Cocktailing, Perfect Aperitif , Shellfish, Sushi, Vegetables

Italy , Etna
Grape Varietal:
Minnella, Catarratto, Carricante
$21.00 each