Sicily, Italy

Contrada Cavaliere, Etna Bianco DOC — 2020

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  • Introduction

    • THE WINERY: Winemaking in the Benanti family can be traced back to the late 1800s in Viagrande. This deep-rooted passion for wine is what led Giuseppe Benanti to establish the namesake winery in 1988.

      THE WINE: The south-western slope of Mount Etna in Contrada Cavaliere (part of the village of Santa Maria di Licodia), is particularly suited for its high elevation and abundant luminosity.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Appellation: Etna D.O.C. Bianco
    • Location: Sicily
    • Cultivation: Sustainable
    • Vine Age: 50 years old
    • Soil: Volcanic sands, rich in minerals, with sub-acid reaction
    • Exposure: Southwest exposure
    • Density: 6,500 vinestocks per hectare
  • Vintage Report

    • A year similar to 2019 in terms of climate, with a mild winter and below-average rainfall. Vegetation started to grow between mid-March and early April. Spring temperatures were mostly normal, but there were some cold temperatures in May and June. Like in 2019, there was unseasonal rain in July, which affected the ripening process. Overall, the soil had good moisture, but more effort was needed to control spontaneous vegetation. Increased humidity also led to a higher risk of powdery mildew. In July, there were small hailstorms in Monte Serra and Milo, but the damage was minimal. These conditions caused a delay in veraison and some grapes did not fully ripen. Harvest took place in the usual period, starting in late September. In some cases, harvest extended beyond the typical period to compensate for the irregular ripening caused by July rains.

  • Vinification

    • Grapes are hand-picked after mid-October and softly pressed. Fermentation occurs for about 12 days at a controlled temperature in stainless steel vats, using a specific indigenous yeast selected in the vineyard by Benanti. The wine matures in stainless steel tanks on the fine lees for about 12 months, with frequent stirrings. 

    • Aging: Stainless steel tanks on the fine lees for 12 months, until bottling. In the bottle for 6 months.
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: Carricante
    • Alcohol: 12%
    • TA: 7.5 g/L
    • p H: 2.94
  • Tasting Notes

    • Pale yellow with greenish tints. Intense, rich, delicate, fruity scent with hints of orange blossom and ripe apple. Dry, mineral, harmonious with pleasant acidity, aromatic persistence, and aftertaste of anise and almond.



  • Contrada Cavaliere, Etna Bianco DOC — 2020

    "A complex nose of preserved citrus, basil, crushed sage and dried lily. Medium-bodied with some almond and lemon cream. Wet-stone finish. Complex, but approachable. Well balanced and bright."