While few Americans have heard of Carricante, we firmly believe it is one the world’s greatest white wine grapes. At its best, Carricante produces ageworthy white wines that exhibit intoxicating aromatics and complex rich fruit buttressed by outstanding acidity and intense minerality. Carricante is often difficult to judge when young as the complex aromatics require some time in the bottle in order to fully develop. Also, in order to experience Carricante’s unique charms, it is important that it not be blended with other white grapes. For this reason, there are only a handful of accurate Carricante bottlings in the world today.
Until our introduction of the grape to California, Carricante has been grown exclusively on the upper reaches of the massive Etna Volcano on the island of Sicily. It reaches its zenith on the eastern slope of the volcano, near the town of Milo, at elevations exceeding 2400 feet. Generations of Sicilians realized the exceptional quality of Carricante from this region and granted it a special designation of “Etna Bianco Superiore” which is analogous Burgundy’s “Grand Cru” designation. While it is often found inter-planted with less capable white grapes such as Cataratto and Minella, Italian law requires a minimum of 80% Carricante in order to be designated “Etna Bianco Superiore”.
Aeris’ estate Carricante vineyards can be found in Sicily’s prime Caselle district as well as our Centennial Mountain vineyard in California. Both sites are planted with 100% Carricante in order to fully express this grape’s amazing potential.