is a white grape varietal native of Mount Etna in Eastern Sicily in Southern
Italy where it has been growing since before the Neolithic era. The
grape's name comes from the Italian word for charged "carica" because of its tendency to grown in large bunches. It is the main component of the Etna Bianco DOC where it is usually blended
with other native varietals Catarrato, Minella or Trebbiano. The
Carricante grape produces wines with refreshing citrus aromas of lemon, lime,
grapefruit and orange, herbal notes of mint and aniseed complimented by racing
acidity, volcanic soil induced minerality as well as varying hints of salinity brought on by the pretty much constantly blowing breeze locally knows as "grecale". Depending on harvest time and
vinification the grape can also exhibit tart green apple flavors or creamy
The best Carricante Grapes are grown Alberello style (to help control yields) on
stone constructed terraces around the small town of Milo on the Easten Facade
of Mount Etna, planted in
the rich, dark and powdery volcanic soil which is why the Etna DOC Bianco Superiore,
a higher level of quality with a minimum of 80 percent Carricante, can come
from only Milo.
Bianco, made with a minimum of 60 percent carricante, can be produced
throughout the Etna grape-growing regions.
These are the Etna Bianco DOC requirements:
D.O.C. Bianco: Carricante (minimum 60%), Catarratto (no more than 40%). Can be
included up to 15% other non-aromatic grapes like Minnella or Trebbiano.
Etna D.O.C. Bianco
Superiore: Carricante (minimum 80%), Catarratto or Minnella (no more than 20%).
Grapes have to come exclusively from the Milo area