Italian Indigenous Varieties: Minella Bianca

This variety hails from Sicily. It is grown in the province of Catania, at the foot of Etna. It usually grows in fields with other grapes including the much heralded Nerello Mascalese grape, Carricante and Catarratto. It’s also grow around the province of Enna. It is seldom seen as a monovarietal wine but it usually found in white or red blends. It brings elegance and finesse to blends.

A famous producer who makes a white wine from this grape is Benanti. Apparently the acidity is fantastic. Giuseppe Benanti started making wine from his family’s winery and estate vineyards in the late 1980s on Etna when there were fewer than 10 producers. We know what’s happened since then. Today his son’s Antonio and Salvino are continuing the family tradition.

The wines are available in the States through various importers including Tradizione Imports in New York. I’m not sure this particular wine is available in the States yet though. I look forward to trying it when in Italy.


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