Buonora is Tenuta Tascante's white wine from Mount Etna's indigenous Carricante grape variety. Historically prized for its high acidity and abundant productivity, Carricante is a multi-faceted grape that ripens late and gains complexity with aging. Grapes for the Tenuta Tascante Buonora are sourced from cool-climate vineyards on the north and east faces of the volcano's slopes.
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Tasca d’Almerita, one of Sicily’s preeminent wine families, began their adventure in Etna in 2007 with the purchase of two vineyards in the communes of Castiglione di Sicilia and Randazzo on the north face of the volcano. The northern exposure is a cool-climate area, due to the combination of elevation and less direct sun, which helps to retain acidity in the wines. The estate name, Tenuta Tascante, was formed by combining Tasca with Etna spelled backwards.
Today, the Tasca family currently owns four parcels, located in the contrade of Pianodario and Sciaranova in Randazzo, and Rampante and Grasà in Castiglione. (A contrada is a small subdivision of a commune, based on various defining criteria such as elevation, cultural/historical significance, or past lava flows.) The vineyards are mostly at elevations of 2,450 to 2,600 feet (750–800 meters) on the 11,000-foot mountain. All are certified as sustainable under SOStain, a Sicilian-based program that rates wineries and vineyards based on their impact on the environment, in conjunction with the Italian Ministry of the Environment’s VIVA indicators of sustainability.
In 2016 they complete the winery in Contrada Marchesa in Passopisciaro and began working with Stefano Masciarelli as winemaker. The Tasca family, is currently headed by Count Lucio Tasca and his sons Giuseppe and Alberto. In 2019 they were named European Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast
A large, geographically and climatically diverse island, just off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. But it is also a wonderful source of diverse, high quality red and white wines. Steadily increasing in popularity over the past few decades, Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region is finally receiving the accolades it deserves and shining in today's global market.
Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, variations on this sun-drenched island range from cool Mediterranean along the coastlines to more extreme in its inland zones. Of particular note are the various microclimates of Europe's largest volcano, Mount Etna, where vineyards grow on drastically steep hillsides and varying aspects to the Ionian Sea. The more noteworthy red and white Sicilian wines that come from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna include Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio (reds) and Carricante (whites). All share a racy streak of minerality and, at their best, bear resemblance to their respective red and white Burgundies.
Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, and is great either as single varietal bottling or in blends with other indigenous varieties or even with international ones. For example, Nero d'Avola is blended with the lighter and floral, Frappato grape, to create the elegant, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, one of the more traditional and respected Sicilian wines of the island.
Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are also used to produce aromatic, crisp dry Sicilian white. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.
Carricante has grown on the slopes of Sicily’s Mt. Etna for the last thousand years. It is the dominant grape in Etna Bianco DOC blends, with Catarratto as a possible minor blending partner. The best examples come from volcanic soils at higher altitudes where a large diurnal temperature shift allows slow and steady ripening and the development of Carricante’s naturally high acidity. Somm Secret—A vine variety capable of high yields if not tended to properly, Carricante gets its name from, carica, the Italian word for “load.”