Italian Indigenous Varieties: Catanese Bianco & Nero

This week’s grape varieties are Catanese Bianco e Catanese Nero. The former is almost extinct because of its’ extremely sensitivity to disease while the latter is generally used as a blending grape with other varieties in Sicily. This grape grows only in the provinces of Palermo, Trapani and Arigento. While the red version of the grape is hardier than the white, it is still very sensitive to diseases and if it is a wet year, can be affected by Botrytis or noble rot.

I’m on my way later this week to Italy for Vinitaly. I’m quite excited for the trip and one of the pavilions that I plan to spend time in is that of Sicily. I hope to try at least one wine that contains this variety.

As anyone who has been to Vinitaly knows, you must always plan you trip and which days you want to visit which clients, taste new wines, and the like. The fair is too big not to have specific plans.

This year I will be spending time at Vivit as well. This is the second year that Vinitaly has a section dedicated to natural wines – Vivit – Vigne Vignaioli Terroir. I have begun writing about natural wines for the Organic Wine Journal and am looking forward to checking out some new wines and to meeting new producers as well as to seeing old friends and colleagues.


  1. Hi Susannah,
    Like me, I’m sure you dig the occasional obscure Italian varietal. In that vein, are you familiar with the wines of Tenuta delle Terre Nere? Great things happening there on the slopes of Mt. Etna. Enjoy the blog!

    • John-
      Thanks for reading Avvinare. I am very familiar with Tenuta delle Terre Nere. I think everyone who has had a wine from Etna has tried one of theirs. At Vinitaly this year I had the occasion to also taste a number of other great wines from Etna. Those from Tenuta Fessina were incredibly impressive, filled with minerality and quite ethereal as it happens. You should try them. Compliments on your blog. Susannah

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