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The Arbizzano di Negrar is a castle-like property, with cellars, drying lofts, and a walled vineyard in Valpolicello. It was built in 1735. Records of the Bertani family’s efforts to make wine date back to 1567. In 1850, the Bertani family acquire the estate of Pieve di Colognola in the Soave region. Family ancestor, Giovanni Bertani, was a member of parliament in the kingdom of Italy in 1874. In 1883, Corvina is planted employing the Guyot training method at the estate. In 1990, Gaetano Bertani founds the Decima Aurea and Torre Pieve Cru projects.

The vineyards are largely sedimentary marl on a bed of limestone rock. This offers excellent drainage, ideal for the production of top quality wine grapes.

 

The estate of Santa Maria alla Pieve is located in the very south of the Illasi Valley, surrounded by the Valpolicella DOC to the west, and the Soave DOC to the east. The soils here are alluvial, with layers of limestone-clay, and river rocks. The vineyards number just over 20 hectares. This area is of Roman origin dating back over 2 thousand years. It is less than 15 km from Verona.

This has long been in the family of Gaetano Bertani. Here they grow Chardonnay, Merlot, and Garganega.

 

 

Lepiga Soave

 

This is 100% Garganega, grown on the Illasi Valley floor, in aulluvial soils composed of limestone rich clay and river rocks. The wines are gently fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. The wines are left on the lees and undergo batonnage for added texture.

The fruits are exotic, along with pears, peaches, a bit of almond, with subtle herbaceousness, an elegant, creamy texture, without being cloying or heavy. This pairs with all manner of seafood, from flaky white fish, to oysters, to himachi crudo.

 

Pragal Rosso

 

This is a blend of Corvina, Merlot, and Syrah. Pragal comes from low yielding vineyards, from grapes that are both freshly harvested, and partially dried. The grapes are then vinified for a long period of time, then aged in large oak barrels for six months in the old cellars at Arbizzano di Negrar. Given its structure, this is predictably a very complex wine, with black plums, black cherries, dried flowers, pepper, leather, and some exotic earthy notes. Pair this with mushroom risotto, grilled chicken, or peppery salami.

 

Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 

 

This is from a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Corvinone. Made in the Ripasso method since the 1850’s, this style is part of the family tradition. The secondary maceration and fermentation over the Amarone grape skins, gives the wine additional complexity, intensity, and body. Afterwards, it is aged for two years in large oak barrels. This wine is intense on the palate with dark fruit, baking spices, and licorice. The wine is medium bodied, with elegant tannins, and balancing acidity. Pair this with lamb stew, Pasta Bolognese, or a charred burger with aged gouda and grilled onions.

 

Valpolicella Classico Superiore

 

This is a blend of Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella, from low yield vineyards at the Arbizzano di Negrar site. The grapes are hand harvested, followed by a long maceration. Following fermentation, the grapes are then aged for 14 months in large oak barrels. Fruits tend to lean towards the dark red and blue, with cherries, blueberries, baking spices, and pepper. The tannins are elegant and well-integrated, balanced by the natural acidity. Pair this with pasta and wild mushrooms, seared duck breast, or pork barbeque.

 

Amarone Classico della Valpolicella Reserve

 

This is a blend of Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella. Grapes are dried for four months on racks. Each variety is macerated and fermented separately in stainless steel. The wines are aged for sixty six months in Slavonian oak barrels. Blending is done in in concrete tanks. The wine is then aged for six months in the bottle prior to release. As expected, this is a big wine, jammy, with plums, black cherries, black berry jam, black licorice, cinnamon, tobacco, and cocoa. Pair with Ossobuco, Chicken Mole Poblano, or long stewed beef.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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