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Pietradolce

Nerello Mascalese?the little black grape from the town of Mascali, on the coast?has for over a century been cultivated on the black slopes of Mount Etna, an active volcano. Practically every family in the area had a handful of gnarled vines, and homemade wine was shared alongside local meat and produce at family meals.After World War II, these vineyards were abandoned in droves. It wasn?t until the early 1990s when local young winemakers rediscovered these ancient vines and considered the possibility of reviving the flavors of the past that had been practically lost.While the Faro family cultivates one of the largest citrus farms on the island, they also own a few small plots of gnarled Nerello Mascalese vines?rootstock more than 100 years old and planted before the scourge of phylloxera. Winemaker Michele Faro remembered his grandfather making Nerello?the wine?s delicate aromas, how well it paired with local foods and at lively gatherings around the family table.The decision then in 2005 to make and bottle wine was one that combined many factors?family history, agricultural know-how, and respect for the vinous patrimony of Etna.Pietradolce in Italian means ?sweet stone.? Indeed, the black lava rock terroir of Mt. Etna endows wines grown on these soils with ?sweet? tannins and a soft, juicy texture. The rugged terrain of Mt. Etna does not prepare you for Nerello Mascalese?s delicate violet aromas or fine-grained texture. Flavors suggest rose water, raspberries, blood oranges.