Analog Wines For the Digital Age

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monte Santoccio from Valpolicella . . .

I would like to introduce to you some great new wines from the Valpolicella region in the Veneto that should be arriving this week (crossing my fingers that my container makes it out of the terminal!)

I met Nicola through Francesco Cirelli at VinItaly this year and his wines impressed me so much, that against my better judgement (meaning that I had no extra money), I brought them in.  These wines are fresh and exciting with great acidity.  So much acidity, in fact, that it completely changed my mind about Ripasso wines and Amarone.  Usually these wines leave me cold with their somewhat flabby acidity and high alcohol, but these reminded me of nothing like the monoliths I have had in the past.

Looking down from one of their vineyards onto the winery.
Monte Santoccio pride itself on the fact that the Winery owns the vineryards that produce the grapes for its wines as this help Monte Santoccio have the control over all the stages of production. The cellar stand alongside (actually underneath their house) and the winery vinifies grapes only from the family’s own surrounding vineyards. Everything is organized so as to obtain maximum quality and done by gravity.

Nicola's father picking some grapes at harvest.  Look at the old Pergola Trentino style of trellis
Monte Santoccio covers a total of over 3 hectares planted with vines. Located in Fumane, Monte Santoccio winery is in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico area and at an altitude that makes for a completely different micro-climate as almost anywhere else in Valpolicella.

Nicola Ferrari, winemaker, was only 26 years old when he started working at Giuseppe Quintarelli winery, one of the most prestigious Valpolicella/Amarone producers. He immediately recognized the importance of exercising control over the whole production process, by owning one’s own vineyards and vinifying one’s own grapes, so as to guarantee the quality of one’s wines and the credibility of one’s brand.

They make Valpolicella Classico, Valpollicella Classico Ripasso, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico and of course a Recioto della Valpolicella Classico.  The last three wines are from partially dried grapes or have had some partial dried grapes added to the wines, giving them their distinct flavor.

I am so excited to show these wines around.

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