Photo: Michele Faro in the 120 year old Barbagalli vineyard, 800m asl on Mount Etna
Mount Etna is Europe's highest volcano and one of the world's most active. 'a Muntagna, as the locals call it, is rich in mineral components and the microclimate - cool nights, warm days and wide ranging temperature variations - endow the wines with extraordinary richness, minerality, fragrance and depth. After World War II many of the vineyards were abandoned until the 1990's, when a group of young winemakers started reviving the 100 plus year old gnarly vines. Pietradolce, meaning 'sweet stone', was founded in 2005 by Michele Faro and his family and their Nerello vineyards are located on the prime northern slopes at Solicchiata, two within the Rampante Contrada and another at Zottorinoto. Pietra dolce means 'sweet stone', a reference to the stony volcanic soil that makes the wines of Etna so unique.