Chiaretto meets Valtenesi at Villa Galniga

Tonight we had the opportunity to hear the presentations of three wineries of Valtenesi Chiaretto: Costaripa, Pasini San Giovanni, and Pratello.

Nicole Vezzola of Costaripa winery meets us on our bus and guides us to Villa Galniga, the ancient home of the Valtenesi consortium. As we drive, she points out other wineries who are members of the consortium and tells us about her family’s Costaripa winery.

Nicole, a very glamorous woman who worked in fashion before turning back to wine, is the fourth generation of the winery first created in 1936. Before that, Nicole’s father  father made wine in Franciacorta.

When we arrive at the gorgeous Valtenesi consortium, we are welcomed to a wonderful reception with beautiful pale Chiaretto wine, local cheese, and candles everywhere.

After a while, we are invited to go upstairs to hear the three producer presentations.

Costaripa Winery Presentation

Nicole is first to show her family’s Costaripa wines. We try the Chiaretto called RoasaMara and it is a pale rose color, very delicious with a firm subtle tannic bite. 450,000 bottles are produced across the range, with most of the sales in Italy although UK and Germany strong markets.  Next to try is Molmenti 2013. It is Aged 2- 4 years in tonneaux and an additional few years in market. Last is a sparkling wine, the traditional method from 80% chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir.

Pasini San Giovanni Winery Presentation

Paolo Pasini from Pasini San Giovanni introduces his family’s winery, explaining he is the fourth generation. The winery started with his grandfather Andrea Pasini, who created it in Brescia in 1958. The winery is organic and produces 300,000 bottles a year. We taste four wines, one from the DOC Valetenesi.

We start with the traditional rose wine, a copper/pink color with attractive aromatics of tangerine and small red fruit called Il Chiaretto   The main grape is  Gropello, blended along with Barbera, Masimino for the sweetness, and Sangiovese.

The second wine is Rosagreen, a rose wine aromas of red current from skin contact of 20 hours. It is slightly more intense copper/rose in color.

Next, third, Il Valtenesi, 100% Gropello with ripe rich succulent red berry fruit.

Interesting point: the vineyard faces the east and it gets the morning sun. They take off the leaves on the east side so the vines can get the morning sun, but keep the leaves on for the other side.

The last wine is a NV sparkling wine, classic method, made from the  Gropello grape but it is a completely white wine. Residual sugar is five grams per liter. Five years on the lees.

Pratello Presentation

Nicola Cerini, who sat across from me at the tortellini dinner, gives this presentation about the organic winery where he works.

The first wine is a crisp, aromatic Riesling and the second one is a white DOC from the south part of the Garda lake. It is a rich, luscious Trebbiano from Lugano. The Pinot Grigio he shows is crisp, mineral, and refreshing. We are all excited to taste Mille 1, a red wine made from the Rebo grape, a cross of Merlot and Teroldego. Aromatic and savory. The last wine is Nero Per Sempre – the Rebo grape but it is produced like Amarone with dried grapes. 15% abv and very rich and concentrated.

Dinner was an interesting and creative affair. Each of the three Chiaretto wines from the three producers were poured with every course, with the goal to see if a participant would find if one Chiaretto wine.

A great introduction to the Chiaretto wines of this area.

Filed under: Bardolino, News


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