Palmento Costanzo

Passopisciaro, Etna, Sicilia
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A palmento is the traditional winemaking structure in Sicily. Regulations eventually led nearly all palmentos to be converted for other uses, such as for storage or restaurants, but since Palmento Costanzo is located within Mt Etna National Park, it remained untouched as a protected historical structure. Mimmo and Valeria are a Sicilian couple whose devotion to the traditions of Mt Etna led them, starting in 2011, to lovingly restore the palmento as a functioning winemaking structure once more. Today they are joined by their daughter Serena as the next generation.

The palmento is far from the only ancient treasure on this site, with vines that are up to 120 years old! Bush-trained in the “alberello” style, each piede franco vine is supported by the traditional chestnut poles. The vines are arranged in the quinconze system, the Italian word for the pattern seen in the dots on the five side of a die. A sensible geometry for fitting vines into a narrow mountain terrace, the arrangement also lets each vine see sun all day, without being shaded by its sisters. Close spacing--a meter and a bit apart--causes enough competition to send roots down deep into the cool, mineral-rich earth below. This training system also reflects the historic proportional grape blends; for instance, red grapes are arranged with four Nerello Mascalese plants surrounding a central Nerello Cappuccio.
Palmento Costanzo owns 18 hectares (44.5 acres), 12 hectares (30 acres) of which are in Contrada Santo Spirito, in the town of Passopisciaro, on the north side of Mount Etna. The town’s name means “to walk the sciara,” referring to the rocky volcanic substance that makes up the winery’s structures as well as the vineyards’ dry stone terraces. A certain number of years after an eruption, yellow flowers called “ginestra” are the first signs of life that show it will be time to plant the vines. An inspiration for the color of one of their wine labels, the ginestra are also an excellent symbol for the spirit of rejuvenation endemic to Mt. Etna.

Latest wine scores in International Magazines:
2021 "Mofete Bianco": 91 Vinous, 91 Wine Enthusiast, 91 Kerin O'Keefe
2021 Bianco di Sei: 92 Vinous
2020 Bianco Santo Spirito: 93+ Vinous
2020 "Contrada Cavaliere Bianco": 93 Vinous, 93 Wine Enthusiast
2019 "Nero di Sei" - 92 Vinous, 92 Wine Enthusiast, 92 IWR, 91 James Suckling
2016 "Contrada Santo Spirito" Etna DOC Rosso - Tre Bicchieri, 93 Wine Enthusiast, 92 Wine & Spirits, 93 Italian Wine Report
2017 "Contrada Santo Spirito" Etna DOC Rosso - 93 Wine Enthusiast
2019 "Prefillossera Rosso": 94 Vinous, 94 JS, Bibenda Cinque Grappoli (5 Grapes), 17.5 Jancis Robinson 

Wines available:
"Mofete Bianco" Etna DOC Bianco
"Mofete Rosato" Etna DOC Rosato
"Mofete Rosso" Etna DOC Rosso
"Bianco di Sei" Etna DOC Bianco
"Nero di Sei" Etna DOC Rosso
"Contrada Cavaliere Bianco" Etna DOC Bianco
"Contrada Santa Spirito Bianco" Etna DOC Bianco
"Contrado Santo Spirito" Etna DOC Rosso
"Prefillossera Rosso" Etna DOC Rosso