All the freshness and minerality of the Volcano
LE SABBIE DELL'ETNA
Le Sabbie dell’Etna Bianco is a wine that is fully established in Firriato’s history. A label of the volcano’s pioneering oenology; it combines the qualities of Carricante and Catarratto—two vines that are symbolic of Etna’s viticultural tradition. The terroir is completely different from the rest of Sicily, with cold winters and less intense sunlight. The grapes here have slower ripening times and take on their fragrant aromas in a more linear way. Freshness and fragrance distinguish this wine together with its persistent tangy taste. Le Sabbie dell’Etna Bianco bewitches the senses with its aromas and flavour. The volcanic soil characterised by its high drainage capacity gives the grapes, and therefore the wine, a unique minerality enriched by the aromatic profile of Carricante, which in vinification gives elegant nuances of white fruit; and the supporting structure of Catarratto.
Le Sabbie dell’Etna Bianco is a wine that is fully established in Firriato’s history. A label of the volcano’s pioneering oenology; it combines the qualities of Carricante and Catarratto—two vines that are symbolic of Etna’s viticultural tradition. The terroir is completely different from the rest of Sicily, with cold winters and less intense sunlight.
- Appellation: DOC Etna
- Vine: Catarratto, Carricante
- Terroir: Cavanera Etnea
- Soil: loamy –sandy of volcanic origin, highly draining
- Exposure: north-east ( 720 mt a.s.l)
Tenuta di Cavanera Etnea
The Cavanera Etnea Estate is located on the north-eastern slope of the Volcano. It is an area characterised by its young, predominantly sandy loam soil, which has a high drainage capacity and mineral content, including phosphorous, magnesium and potassium.
Le Sabbie dell'Etna Bianco
Etna and Carricante a thousand-year old union
The name Carricante most probably derives from the abundance of fruit the plant produces. Wine produced from Carricante grapes is particularly fine and soft; straw-yellow in colour it is ideal for blending with other more full-bodied and structured grape varieties like Catarratto. Etna Bianco DOC’s blend brings to the palate the precise nose of Carricante and the more complex structure of Catarratto, once again celebrating Firriato’s production philosophy: to produce wines with strong territorial identities.
LE SABBIE DELL'ETNA BIANCO
The characteristics of vintages
The 2021 vintage after a mild spring, the sirocco showed its strength which, together with the decrease in rainfall, brought about a week earlier than the harvest.
The 2020 grape harvest was regular on the north-eastern side of the Volcano, thanks to a climatic trend with temperatures below the seasonal average (the only exception being the first decade of August) and abundant rainfall that slightly postponed the ripening phase and collection.
Vintage 2019 was generally affected by the colder and rainier climatic trend compared to the averages of recent years. Temperatures were below seasonal average, favorable climatic conditions were also recorded during the flowering period and ripening. The vegetative development of the plants was optimal, with perfectly functioning foliage, and a reduction in the average weight of the bunch which favored an increase in the average quality.
The climatic trend of the first months of 2018 was characterized by mild winter and a spring with average temperatures. On the contrary, summer was marked by rain and bad weather. Precipitation was more abundant and particularly concentrated in June, the wettest month of the last thirty years, according to regional averages. Despite the rains in early summer, the vineyards of Etna have benefited from favorable climatic conditions, preserving the grapes in the most delicate passages of the fruit development and maturation.
On the north slope of the Etna volcano, grape harvest started a week before compared to 2016. Carricante grapes had been harvested in advance with healthy bunches but a drop in production by 10%. High temperature physiolocgically slowed down the vines, but September rainfalls caused a temperatures drop easing the vine recovery. This climate situation implicated a good sugar maturation of the Nerello Mascalese grapes yet to be collected. The Etna grape harvest finished in the middle of October. Moreover Carricante grapes growing on the north slope of the volcano showed remarkable ability at defenting against the heat wave. Grapes were less swollen and with a great quality elements concentration: its aromatic profile did not suffer from change because of the weather.
Grape harvest achieved extraordinary results on the Etna volcano. Cool summer with reduced rainfalls set ideal conditions for obtaining quality grapes. Grape harvest began about a week earlier than usual and ended about a week earlier on schedule, avoiding the rains of October. Although quantity production is along with vintage 2015, quality has increased, offering more aromatic whites with excellent freshness.
The winter was hard with heavy rainfall, also the spring was very rainy with temperatures below the seasonal average, this has led to a budding more late. Excellent was the vegetative growth of the high temperatures of May and June have exploited for a splendid flowering followed by a good fruit set. The hailstorm that hit June 9 reported fortunately little damage limited to vegetation.
The climate was crucial for the quality of the produced grapes, after the spring rains and early summer, the temperatures have gradually approached the seasonal average, but no heat spikes. Finally there was a return to a more vintage style Etna. n September came the rains but despite concerns that made thinking about a difficult year, October, the fateful month of harvest, was mild with sunny days and no rain, allowing to bringing in the cellar from the point of view of excellent health e of the grapes.
The year showed to be fruitful. Either regarding the quantity, and definitely regarding the quality “very interesting wines regarding the aromatic profile” had been obtained. Because of the climate, the harvest lasted till the last week of September. The year 2013 gave a slower harvest and then a gradual maturation.
This vintage benefited from favourable weather conditions, resulting in excellent and exquisite ripening of the local grape varieties Carricante and Catarratto. Winter on the north-eastern side of the volcano was cold with scarce rainfall and it was followed by a spring with average temperatures, thus preparing the vines well for an optimum yield.
The weather conditions were fairly stable, resulting in a winter with average temperatures and less rainfall compared to previous years. Rainfall was plentiful during the spring months, preparing the vines well as they went on to produce healthy grapes of optimum ripeness. However, the harvest, which was performed by hand during the middle and last third of October, recorded a drop in production of 15% due to reduced bunch size.
The climate in 2010 was distinguished by a winter with average temperatures and scarce rainfall and a mild and not very wet spring. The dry summer season hinted that the fruit may not match up to its usual level of perfection, but thanks to timely rainfalls at the end of September, the harvest did not fail to meet expectations.
Bud break occurred later than in previous years thanks to the favourable weather conditions in 2009. Autumn was distinguished by fairly wintry weather and abundant rainfall, which was also frequent in the spring. The growth of the vines slowed down considerably during this first stage, then proceeded as normal in the very warm and humid summer months.
LE SABBIE DELL'ETNA BIANCO
Decanter Awards (DWWW): 88 pts
Falstaff: 89 pts
International Wine report: 92 pts
James Suckling: 91 pts
Wine Spectator: 89 pts
Robert Parker: 87 pts
James Suckling: 91 pts
Wine Enthusiast: 87 pts
Decanter: Bronze Medal 88 pts
Robert Parker: 90 pts
Wine Spectator: 88 pts
Luigi Veronelli: 1 flower
Robert Parker: 88 pts
Bibenda: 3 clusters
Robert Parker: 88 pts
Trenette with Cuttlefish Ragout
Boil the tenerumi, then drain them and squeeze them well. Put them in a jug together with the oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper, then blend everything with an immersion blender.