Tornatore Etna Bianco 2022 750ml - Bottle Shop of Spring Lake
(732) 449-5525
Tornatore Etna Bianco 2022 750ml
SKU: 06063

Tornatore Etna Bianco 2022

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  • wa89


Available for:
Category White Wine
Origin Italy, Sicily, Etna
Brand Tornatore

A rising star in the Etna region, Tornatore is becoming one of the region's biggest and most respected wineries. Francesco Tornatore founded his namesake winery on the northern slopes of Mount Etna in 2012 in the town of Castiglione di Sicilia. He was born there to a farming family, as was every generation of Tornatore dating back to the 16th century. Their vineyards are located at an altitude of 1,000 meters above sea level on the north side of this active volcano. Today the Tornatores farm 60 hectares of vineyards, including the contrada (districts) of Pietrarizzo and Trimarchisa, with elevations ranging from 400 to 700 meters above sea level. They work exclusively with the native varieties of the region. 

Tornatore's Etna Bianco is made of a local white grape named Carricante, cultivated in volcanic soils, planted in terraces at a high altitude of 650 meters above sea level, in the northern slope of the volcano. This is a straw yellow colored wine with light green shadow that offers mineral notes with menthol scents typical of Etna wines, green apple with primary aromas characteristic of the variety.

For the history of this family estate, it was in the middle of the 19th century when the family started making wine. Francesco Tornatore’s great-grandfather, Giuseppe, worked two hectares in the hills above the town of Linguaglossa. Francesco was the first generation to attend university, becoming an engineer and after decades of success in Milan, returning to Castiglione di Sicilia to purchase land and continue his family’s legacy in the region.

Francesco comes from a long line of farmers. His family’s history dates to the 1600’s, tied to the land around the town of Castiglione di Sicilia, on the northern slopes of Mount Etna. It was Francesco’s grandfather, Giuseppe, who finally took the first steps away from the Tornatore ancestral home. But rather than being out of curiosity, it was from desperation. Italy was economically devastated following World War II, and no region suffered worse than Sicily. Francesco’s grandfather was forced to emigrate halfway across the world to Australia for a job cutting sugar cane. It was backbreaking work, but it eventually afforded him - upon his return - a small hazelnut farm in the hills of Castiglione di Sicilia. He and his son - Francesco’s father - slowly expanded the family’s holdings to 90 hectares, with much of it planted to vines, olive groves, and hazelnuts. However, this was never meant to be a family business. Francesco’s father and grandfather worked hard so that he and his brother could leave the countryside and attend university. And so, Francesco, fulfilling the dream of his family, graduated from university with a degree in engineering. He left for Milan; a new chapter of the Tornatore family was being written.

In the 1990s, Mount Etna was a ‘wine region’ in name only; despite its DOC status, most of the wine was still being made in unsanitary palmenti (traditional gravity-fed stone wineries, often carved into hillsides) and being sold in bulk. International interest was practically non-existent and at best, Etna wines were a curiosity.

It wasn’t until the late 1980s when a pharmacist named Giuseppe Benanti applied a modern and empirical approach to winemaking, focusing on the native varieties of the region. Famously, he was inspired to make wine when he was having lunch with a colleague. Having ordered some wine from the area of Castiglione di Sicilia, he was so embarrassed by the quality that he felt he could only improve upon it. And so, he began a hobby that became an obsession. It was Benanti’s 1990 vintage of Pietramarina, a white wine made from the native Carricante grape that proved to Italy and the world that Mount Etna could be a region of great promise. 

Meanwhile, Francesco Tornatore had lived up to his father’s dreams and more. In fact, he had become an unqualified success, receiving the order of the Cavaliere del Lavoro (an official recognition from the Italian government to those who have been ‘singularly meritorious’ in agriculture, industry, and commerce).

Yet, he felt a pull back to the countryside and seeing the new potential of Etna wines, he began purchasing vineyard land around Castiglione di Sicilia. He built a state-of-the-art winemaking facility and began work on an ambitious hospitality program. Every vine in the estate’s 60 hectares was replanted with drought-resistant rootstock, with no expense spared. Finally in 2012, he launched his eponymous label and for the first time in more than a century of grape growing, the name ‘Tornatore’ could be found on a bottle of Etna wine.

Francesco had returned to his roots. And, no, it was not the future his ancestor’s dreamed for him. But one has to believe that his father and grandfather are proud to have been able to afford Francesco the greatest luxury of all: choice. And so, after a lifetime of success, he chose to come home. 

James Suckling
  • js91

Medium-bodied. Steady and bright on the palate. Subtle, smoky flavor mixes well with fresh and dried-herb notes. Sustainable.

Wine Advocate
  • wa89

The 2022 Etna Bianco shows classic varietal tones that are citrusy and bright. You also get floral notes, even soapy tones of lady's perfume, with a hint of something exotic such as saffron or cardamom seed. The wine is medium rich on the palate with sweet end notes of candy or lemon-lime merengue.

Monica Larner, June 30, 2023
Sparkling Rosé
No Sulfites Added
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