For a long time now I’ve heard about the wines of Elisabetta Foradori, but had yet to try them. I attended a tasting and tried a couple of the teroldego wines that she produces. Until I did my research into the Foradori winery as well as studing
for my Italian Wine Scholar certification I didn’t realize that impact
she has made on the wine industry in the Trentino wine region,
especially with the teroldego grape.
Foradori winery was started back in 1939 by Vittorio Foradori. Due to
the passing of Vittorio, his daughter Elisabetta Foradori took over upon
her graduation in enology from the Istituto di San micheleall’Adige.
Elisabetta has made many changes including becoming biodynamic in 2002
with a later Demeter certification in 2009. In 2010 Elisabetta and 10
other producers established the I Dolomitici
consortium in Trentino. Their site provides an in depth look into the
close care and attention that she takes in producing wines
biodynamically. It’s all about a relationship with nature, the vines
and the land with the least amount of manipulation to allow the grapes
to show their true selves in the glass.
The Grape ~ Teroldego
Teroldego is a grape native to Trentino and grows particularly well in the area of the Campo Rotaliano. This plateau of flat land surrounded by the mountains in northern Trentino is made of stony alluvial soils, limestone and gravel.
wines are dark and deep in color, full-bodied, rather fruity with ripe
berries, smooth tannins and a little spice. Aged wines developer
further dense, complex characteristics.
The 2015 Foradori Granato TeroldegoVignetidelle Dolomiti IGT is made of 100% teroldego. It is sourced from 3 vineyards of theirs in the Campo Rotaliano. The wine is fermented in large open oak casks and spends 15 months in old oak botti up to 22 hectolitres. It is unfiltered with an additional year of age in the bottle. A beautifully dense and concentrated wine rich in blueberries and blackberries. Full-bodied, but nice elegance with a lasting finish. SRP $53
The Granato is the longest aged wine they
have. The first vintage of Granato was produced back in 1986. This
wine brought international attention and recognition to what Elisabetta
was and is achieving at the winery.
On their 70 acres of land, 75% of it is dedicated to teroldego with the rest including manzonibianco, nosiola and pinot grigio. The
winery originally used new French barriques with some of their wines,
but hasn’t used any new or used barriques since 2008. Elisabetta felt
it was better to shift to a “gentle and traditional, true terroir
focus”. Winemaking choices like this, plus being organic, biodynamic,
hand-harvesting grapes, spontaneous fermentation and other methods are
what make her wines special.
Elisabetta is joined in the winery by her two sons and I look forward
to hopefully trying some of the other wines that she produces and
learning more about her mark in the wine industry in Trentino.
*Pictures copyright of Elisabetta Foradori and photographer Andrea Scaramuzza.
I’ve been wanting to revisit wines from the Ascheri
winery in Piedmont since I traveled there back in 2009. Recently I had
the opportunity to be reacquainted with the owner, Matteo Ascheri,
at a tasting in Boston sampling a large lineup of his wines. Such a
passionate and jovial man and it’s a pleasure to share some of my
favorites from the day.
Matteo Ascheri, owner of Ascheri winery
I won’t go in depth into Matteo’s winery as you can view my previous article, Touring the Ascheri Winery in Piedmont,
I wrote close to when I started my blog some years ago. What I found
interesting reflecting back is that one of the wines I’m sharing today
was also my selection in a different vintage during my visit. When you
have a style and type of wine you like I guess it is what it is.
winery has been producing wines since 1880 and after so much time,
dedication, hard work and passion it’s no wonder that their wines are an
“expression of the vineyard it comes from, of the grapes it is made of,
and above all of our own ideas” as stated on their site. They believe
in sustainable practices and “non intervention” with use of moderate technology and larger oak casks to display the best expression of their wines.
And a big congratulations to Matteo for being appointed President of the Consortium of Barolo, Barbaresco, Alba, Langhe and Dogliani in early 2018.
2018 AscheriPelaverga di Verduno – This grape, pelaverga,
is a rather rare red grape with only about 150,000 bottles produced in
total on 22 hectares amongst the growers, according to Matteo. I
appreciate that the winery donates 10% of the wine to an organization
for the poor. The label is designed after the organization. Pelaverga, meaning green skin, is only found around the town of Verdune
within the Langhe appellation. Another grape that almost faced
extinction until some producers, including Matteo, decided to
reinvigorate it. It’s a wine that is very easy to drink, lighter red in
color with a bouquet of strawberries and a little spice. Nice bright
acidity and moderate tannins. SRP $18
next 2 wines are part of Matteo’s “collectible collection”. Per their
site what makes these wines special to him is that “after years of
investments in the vineyards and in the cellar, trying to develop a
personal approach I was able to produce these wines that best represent
my ideals and my ideas. Mainly because they are the perfect fusion of
my thinking and the reality.”
2015 Ascheri Barolo PisapolaVerduno– As they call it “forward and stylish” this is a wine they produce only in the best vintages. This nebbiolo
is something I would really love to taste in years to come. Although
the tannins were gripping it had a beautiful velvety finish to it.
2015 Ascheri Barolo SoranoSerralungad’Alba - Again my pick of the barolos at the tasting. This is what the winery calls their “classic barolo”.
Beautiful fruit, dried flowers, spice, nice acidity and a wine rather
approachable in its youth, but with many years to develop in the
bottle. Newly released.
Sorano vineyards at Ascheri winery ~ Copyright of Ascheri
Have you visited Piedmont and what are some wineries you have enjoyed?
Learning about wine is a never ending process and even
though I like to focus on Italian wines I believe it’s important to understand
wine on a broader scale as well. I’m always intrigued when I discover Italian
grapes being grown on different terroirs. This month our Wine Pairing Weekend group is discovering
Brazilian wines. Definitely another
first for me.
Brazil’s Wine History
Brazil has been making wine from some time, but more table
wines kept for local consumption. In
recent decades is where they have becoming more prevalent on the wine scene and
producers are focusing on increasing the quality of the wines. With the first appellation, Vale dos
Vinhedos, only just recently established in 2002. Today the number of wineries stands at around
Although Brazil is known mostly for their sparkling wines
there are plenty of still wines getting recognition as well. Many of the varietals produced throughout the
country are Italian and French. Per
Decanter, grapevines were brought to Brazil back in the 1530’s by the
Portuguese. It wasn’t until Italian
immigrants came in 1875 bringing their wine knowledge and establishing a wine
culture that would get the Brazilian wine producers to start to bottle their
wine for commercial use.
I tried wine from the Salton winery located in Bento
Goncalves, the main city of Brazil’s largest wine region, Serra Gaucha. Serra Gaucha is in the southern part of
Brazil near Uruguay in the state of the Rio Grande do Sul. About 80-85% of the country’s production
comes from this region. Serras means low mountain ranges and Gauchos are the cowboys
of the Brazilian Pampas, or lowlands.
The Salton winery is stated to be the oldest running winery
and was founded in 1878 by Italian immigrant, Antonio Domenico Salton. He came over from Northern Italy to seek out
land and establish himself in Brazil. In
1910 Antonio involved his 7 sons into the business. They’re actually so large they produce around
9-10% of Brazil’s wine production.
Pretty amazing! Although a large
portion of their grapes are purchased from small growers that they have
established long term relationships they do also grow some of their own
Although I’m not a fan of sparkling wine how can you not
beat a bottle sold at $5 a bottle. The
Salton Alma Brut is made of 60% moscato and 40% trebbiano grapes. All Italian grapes obviously. I was surprised with it being so dominated by
moscato that it didn’t let off more florality.
A dry, crisp bubbly with lingering lemon and minerality on the
finish. ABV 11.5%
The pairing: Although
sparkling wines can be paired with a large array of foods a simple appetizer
and glass of bubbly is a perfect way to start any occasion. I paired the Alma Brut with crostini topped
with Fig and Walnut Butter from Stonewall Kitchen and an Artichoke Antipasto
spread from Trader Joes. Of course I had
to add some slides of fresh pecorino cheese, my favorite! It was the perfect day to end the work week
for me and was quite enjoyable.
Please join me, Wines of Brasil and my fellow bloggers while we share our wine pairing suggestions for Brazilian wines. It is easy to join along, even if you don’t have a blog. Just tune in to Twitter and follow #winePW Saturday at 11am EST. In the meantime, check out my friends suggestions for meals to pair with Brazilian wines.
Valpolicella wine region is one I have probably explored the most in
depth as it was my first press trip as a wine blogger. I’ve even been a
number of times including my own personal travel there so I have a
pretty good understanding of the land, the grapes and the styles of wine
grown there. Our Italian Food, Wine & Travel group this month is
wines. It gave me the perfect excuse to open a bottle that I brought
back from Italy when I traveled through this wine region in 2009, prior
to being a blogger at that time.
What are passito wines? They’re wines that undergo a unique process of drying the grapes, known as the appassimento process, before they go through fermentation. The grapes are either laid out of mats to dry or as I saw from my journey there
they were laid in crates with fans blowing on them. As you can
imagine this concentrates the sugars in the grapes developing a more richer,
complex style with depth. Think about your average grape and then
think about raisins. Very different flavor there as the water
evaporates from the end product.
These weren't from Brunelli, but during my travel in the region.
Amarone stems from the word amaro meaning bitter as this wine can be compared to its sweeter counterpart, reciotodellavalpolicella. Amarone is the dry version of a recioto.
Back in the day producers let natural fermentation take place until
some discovered by accident that the sugar of the dried grapes had all
been metabolized. It was initially labelled as Reciotodella Valpolicella Amarone until the 1990’s when it stood on its own as you see it today, Amarone della Valpolicella.
The Land ~ Valpolicella
Amarone DOCG wines are an appellation within the Valpolicella wine
region of the Veneto. Just north of Verona this wine region borders the
Monti Lessini Range along the Adige River on the western side. The name Valpolicella stems from a Latin word meaning “valley of many cellars” and
wineries here are a plenty. I remember from my travels that the
valleys fan out throughout the region looking almost like fingers. It reminded me a little of the Finger Lakes wine region of upstate NY I travel to annually.
Amarone wines are produced from a variety of grapes at differing percentages including corvina, corvinone, rondinella and molinara. The Brunelli Amarone I’m sharing today is made of 65% corvina, 25% rondinella and 10% corvinone. Corvina is the primary red grape produced in the Valpolicella wine region. Rondinella
is another popular varietal of the region typically blended in many of
the red wines found in Valpolicella as well as the wine area of
Bardolino. It’s considered a relative of the former corvina mentioned.
Corvinone is used in smaller percentages, but adds some beefiness and body to the blends in which it is used.
The Winery ~ Brunelli
Brunelli winery is located in San Pietro in Carino, within the Amarone
Classico wine zone. This is the most western part of the Valpolicella
wine producing area and like most classico
wine zones is considered the heart of the wine region. Considered the
best wines of the area, although I hate to generalize as we know there
are always diamonds in the rough.
The history of the Brunelli winery starts back in the 18th
century when three brothers were sharecroppers that worked the land of a
noble family out of Verona. They produced a variety of crops and took
care of the farm animals. At one point they decided to produce recioto and valpolicella
wines giving half to the owner of the land. Word got out of the
quality of the wines they were producing by locals and a visiting
bishop. At the beginning of the 20th century they had an opportunity to become full owners.
My visit back in 2009
great grandfather of today’s current manager, Alberto Brunelli, started
the winery in 1936. After World War II past he passed the winery down
to his son, Giuseppe, whom started to bottle the wines. This was at a
time when most growers of the area were selling their wines in bulk.
Alberto’s father, Luigi, took over the winery in 1976 purchasing 2
parcels of land in the Classico area. These parcels were called Campo Inferi and Campo del Titari.
I love that these parcels of land have such meaning as Luigi had a childhood horse whom he named the vineyard of Campo del Titari
after. It produced wines that reminded of grace and power. The
tobacco and leather notes reminded him of the horse’s saddle while the
deeper color reminded him of the black horse. The wines produced there
are considered to have a “determined and enigmatic character” like
himself. The other parcel, Campo Inferi, has more gentler, feminine style traits like his wife.
The 2006 Brunelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico that
I opened was quite the treat. Amarone wines are ones that definitely
need some oxygen to open up. I personally like to taste it through its
many stages upon opening, some hours later and even the next day if some
is left over.
Amarone was a deeper ruby in color, paler on the edges. With a nose of
dark cherries and rich raspberry notes. Upon tasting at the back of my
mouth it left a beautiful silkiness or glycerol taste you’ll find in
some of the wines of this area. A well balanced wine with softer
tannings, good acidity an nice concentrated fruit. More feminine in
style with elegance.
was drinking well for being 13 years old and I’m glad I opened it at
this point. Amarone wines are ones that can age for decades if you have
the time and patience. At an SRP at $45 it’s not a wine you can
splurge on every day, but its one I always typically enjoy with my
Thanksgiving meal and the occasional splurge. ABV 15%
Pairing: Since the cool weather is upon us I chose to pair this Amarone with a pot roast drizzled with an amarone based gravy.
Join us live this Saturday September 7th on Twitter at 11am EST to learn all about passito wines from the rest of our winelovers.