Cavanera Wine Resort – (Etna) Sicily

I arrived at Cavanera Wine Resort ….what amazing views of Mount Etna ….I certainly felt the energy of the volcano!  I can see that staying at Cavanera will seriously push this wine adventure to the next level!

The property is on the slopes of Mount Etna, approximately 650-950 metres above sea level, between the vineyards of Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Carricante and Catarratto which are on a series of terraces, covering many contradas from north-east to north slopes of the Mount Etna.  It consists of pre-phylloxera vineyards with some younger replanting activities. The andisol soil has a high silicon content of 60%, and is extremely porous. The soil substrate of basaltic rock guarantees a constant source of water for the vines. The range in temperature between day and night and the great oenological merits of the volcano being silently emitted are exhibited when you taste the wines.

The resort, an ancient farmhouse with two 17th century palmentos, has all the modern comforts, is set in an unspoilt natural landscape with fabulous mountain views. Nature certainly serves as the central wine tourism theme at the Cavanera Wine Resort.  There are 21 double rooms with interiors combining modern style and typical Sicilian charm. A few steps from one of the terraces is a beautiful saltwater pool and the entrance to the Etna Wine Bar.

La Riserva Bistrot

The on-premise restaurant, La Riserva Bistrot has a captivating modern décor and a cozy ambiance. I discovered some amazing local traditional dishes, and local wines.  The wine list is a journey to discover Sicilian authenticity from Trapani to Catania. Just to let you know – you can taste all of Firrato’s labels, including Gaudensius which is produced in three classic method styles. The staff is quite knowledgeable on Sicilian wines and the service was impeccable.

The large bistro terrace offers amazing panoramic view of the vineyards of Nerello Mascalese and Carricante, some of the historical varieties of the Volcano. The sunset here is not to be missed – It becomes magical, with a mixture of colors that merge alongside the view of the majesty of Mount Etna.

All I can say is that at La Riserva Bistrot, I had some …

“Great wine tasting experiences, paired with refined exquisite Sicilian dishes, while being surrounded by this magical volcanic landscape certainly, all made my stay here more outstanding!”

Some Facts:

The Firriato winery owns three hospitality facilities: Baglio Soria in Trapani, Calamoni di Favignana on Favignana island and Cavanera Etnea on Mt Etna

Their wines are made from indigenous Sicilian Varieties and International varieties

Organically grown grapes

The winery is 100% Carbon Neutral

Six estates where the grapes are grown: Baglio Soria – Trapani, Borgo Guarini – Trapani, Dagala Borromeo – Trapani, Pianoro- Trapani, Calamoni on the Island of Favignana and Cavanera on Mt. Etna.


A special “Thank You” to Federico Lombardo di Monte Iato, COO Firriato Winery, and Rossella Marino Abate, Consulente Social Media presso Firriato for their warm welcome and wonderful hospitality.


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Drone Footage on Mount Etna [The Highest Active Volcano in Europe]

…….Pls note:  DF will be found on my Instagram @lizpalmer_

One of the most memorable highlights of my trip to Sicily was a 1.5 km hike up Mount Etna with Federico Lombardo di Monte Iato, COO of Firriato wines, and Rossella Marino Abate, Consulente Social Media presso Firriato and to celebrate the trek tasting Le Sabbie Dell’Etna Rose 2021 on lava rocks.

Experiencing Mount Etna in person was like visiting a distant planet, as you can see from the footage. We had clear visibility with various cloud formations which made the trek more magical. Views of the terrain were spectacular….

We walked through startling volcanic landscapes: silver birch woods, pine forests, and lava flows.  The terrain was very challenging with the altitude changes and unstable volcanic rock, but worth it!

There are documented records of Mount Etna historical eruptions dating back to 1500 BCE. Scientists have found that activity has frequently originated from its summit areas, which include the Northeast Crater, the Voragine-Bocca Nuova complex, the Southeast Crater (formed in 1978) and the New Southeast Crater (formed in 2011).  Another crater, the “cono della sella” developed during 2017 between SEC and NSEC. Its most recent eruptive period began in September 2013 and more recently has been characterized by Strombolian explosions, ash plumes, lava fountaining, and flows.

According to the Smithsonian Institution, Global Volcanism Program Mount Etna has three volcanic types: Stratovolcano, Caldera, and Pyroclastic cone.

Stratovolcano is located:

Latitude 37.748°N

Longitude 14.999°E

Summit 3320 m

Elevation 10,892 ft

And believe it or not scientists have numbered the volcanos and Mount Etna is active Volcano Number 211060.  Its last known eruption was February 23-25 2022 CE. A brief overview of the report follows.

Last Report
February 23 – March 1 2022

INGV reported that during 23-25 February activity at Etna’s Southeast Crater (SEC) was characterized by Strombolian activity and occasional ash emissions that rapidly dispersed to the SSW and SSE. At 1338 on 24 February a forceful ash emission from Northeast Crater drifted SSE. A diffuse ash emission rose from the same crater at 1642. Emissions at Bocca Nuova Crater consisted mainly of gas with occasional minor ash content during 21-27 February.

Source: Sezione di Catania – Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)

Wine Tasting on Mount Etna

Le Sabbie Dell’Etna Rose 2021

Grape Variety: Nerello Mascalese 100%

The grapes come from different areas of the North side of the Etna. The soil

composition is Loamy –sandy of volcanic origin, highly draining. Exposure is

the Northeastern side of the Volcano (720 metres above sea level).

Tasting Notes

Beautiful fine pink colour; The wine has pronounced intensity on the nose with aromas of ripe raspberries, pomegranate, and minerality; on the palate there is freshness, medium acidity, with flavors of strawberries lots of minerality through to a long finish.  A great elegant wine that reflects the territorial characteristics of its origin. 

Thank you Federico Lombardo di Monte Iato, Firriato wines, and Rossella Marino Abate for this amazing memorable experience!

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@assovinisicilia @just_sicily @wineinsicily

Review of Serisso 47, Trapani Silicy + Saint Germain (Brut) Firriato

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Serisso 47 is located in the heart of Trapani’s historical center and it is interesting to note that it was formerly a Bourbon palace in the 17th century.

Serisso 47 has a wonderful cozy and elegant atmosphere. The cuisine truly interprets the traditional cuisine of Trapani – the catch of the day, which is brought to your table by trolley. I highly recommend you experience this as each fish is pointed out and explained  along with the cooking preparation.  There are other regional dishes including spaghetti with sea urchins.

I found the wine wine list to be large with a great selection of regional Sicillian wines.  Our choice was Firriato’s Saint Germain (brut) – these wines come from Borgo Guarini estate in Trapani.  This sparkling wine was the perfect accompaniment from our appetizer right through to dessert.

Tasting Notes:

Colour:     straw yellow

Nose:        notes of white fruit with some citrus

Palate:      varied and complex, the balance of acidity and freshness enhances the persistence through to a finish marked with mineral notes.  Persistent bubbles.

It’s interesting to note that Catarratto and Grillo’s individual characters are present and easily distinguished.

Overall with Serisso 47 you get tradition, innovation, wonderful local flavors and excellent presentation.

Serisso 47

Via Serisso, 47

91100 Trapani

T: (0039) 0923 26 113


Liz Palmer

Wine + Lifestyle Journalist