The Italian winemaker and entrepreneur Giuseppe Benanti has died at the age of 78. Benanti is considered one of the pioneers of the Etna DOC appellation and a long-time trailblazer of the growing area. Although he initially followed in his father's footsteps and worked part-time in the family's pharmaceutical company in Catania, his passion was viticulture. As early as 1988, he invested in the family vineyards and founded his first winery, Tenuta di Castiglione. A little later, he launched his first two Etna wines, the white Pietramarina made from 100 per cent Carricante and the Etna Rosso Rovitello. In 1998, further investments followed in Viagrande on the south-eastern slope of the volcano, where vineyards with the autochthonous grape varieties Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio were planted.
With many experiments in the vineyard and cellar, Giuseppe Benanti played a major role in enabling the appellation at the foot of the volcano to develop its potential and to become one of the most renowned wine-growing areas in Italy today. The wine route "Strada del vino dell'Etna" is also due to his commitment.
Today, the Benanti winery produces around 160,000 bottles. The winery has been managed by his sons Antonio and Salvino for several years.
(ru / Source: Repubblica; Photo: Raffaella Usai)