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A Special Chardonnay from Etna's Volcanic Soils




This is an exceptional Chardonnay. It has the lively acidity of a Chablis along with beautiful Sicilian minerality. The nose features stone, honeyed lemon, apricot, peach, bay leaf, and dried white flowers. It is medium-bodied with a slightly texturally round mouthfeel with a buttery undertone from some time in neutral large oak barrels.

“ Crushed rocks, sea spray, lime skins and hints of nectarine create a savory and spicy bouquet as the 2020 Passobianco opens in the glass. It’s lifted and finessed, focused on purity, with white pit fruits accentuated by saline-mineral tones. This leaves a salty flourish, along with nuances of lime, while finishing incredibly fresh. While I prefer the energy in the 2019 Passobianco, the 2020 impresses with more of a sultry nature. ” - Eric Guido

Score 92, Wine Enthusiasts

Score 90, Vinous


$65.08 / bottle

$ 390.51 / case of 12




Passopisciaro: The Etna Vision

The Passopisciaro property, established by Andrea Franchetti in 2000, is located at the top of extremely steep slopes on a hump of black volcanic gravel on Mt. Etna. This particular site is where lava spilled from a huge eruption in 1947 and caked up just before it could destroy the towns below it. Andrea was one of the first winemakers to see the potential of the lava soils and he was also among the first to recognize the potential of individual terroirs composed of distinct lava flows. He sadly passed away last year at the age of 72 which was a huge loss for the Sicilian and national wine community.

The legendary Italian winemaker was coined one of the most talented and visionary Italian producers of his generation. Franchetti first made waves in the Italian wine world thanks to his ground-breaking work with international grape varieties in the Orcia River Valley in southern Tuscany, not far from Montalcino. But it was his gamble on the slopes of Mt. Etna that entirely changed the southern Italian vinicultural narrative.Etna’s intensely volcanic soils are not the only element that makes it a great place to grow wine grapes. The nights are always cool even in the hot summer days of August which allows grapes to build layers of complexity.

When Andrea discovered this terroir, instead of planting Etna's indigenous white varietal, Carricante, he was inspired by the great whites of Burgundy, and believed that Chardonnay would grow beautifully in this location. He planted a small vineyard of 4 hectares of Chardonnay in loose, deep, powder-like lava that is high in minerals. His instincts were spot-on as this Chardonnay has won several accolades over the years and is enjoyed by serious Chardonnay drinkers.



Sandra Colosimo
Sandra Colosimo