The name Seiterre is meant to refer to “six lands” – different geographical areas, diverse climates, varried terraine, and different wine varieties.
Seiterre represents an agricultural business with approximately 300 hectares of property in the best winemaking areas in Italy.
Today we are visiting the group’s San Leone winery in Garda, “Tenuta Fantona.” It is located in the land once owned by the noble Scalinger family. Wine produced at this facility include Lugana, Amarone, Cutoza, and Bardolino.
Here at Tenuta Fantona we are greated by the owner, Luigino Rizzi, who thoughtfully offers us an aperitif of sparkling Chiaretto and some hors d’oeurves. Our thirst sated, he proudly shows us the museum he made of his family history, including some charming enlarged old pictures and ancient winemaking equipment.
In contrast to the old wood presses in the museum, is the shiny new 300,000 Euro harvesting machine near the vineyard. According to Mr. Rizzi, this has replaced 35 hand pickers without loss of quality.
After looking at the vineyards we go down to the new cellar, which was finished in 2005. It was designed so it can be seen at all times of the year, so visitors can safely view the wine-making and bottling areas.
In the cellar, we find a very old Slavonian oak cask with the year 1877 engraved on it — the year of his great grandfather’s birth.
Though Mr. Rizzi is clearly a man of the soil, he has a strong instinct for hospitality … not just that terrific welcoming presentation when we first arrived, but an even more lavish presentation of different types of food, all creatively presented, to match each of the wines we were to taste.
For example, the Lugano white wine is paired with a cone filled with basil cream, the Muller-Thurgau white wine is paired with a grain and vegetable salad, the aromatic Custoza Superiore white wine is paired with a bean salad, and the red Bardolino Superiore is paired with roast beef and vegetables. Very creatively it is presented in a fresh sardine can.
Mr. Rizzi was generous to host us for lunch in the winery’s private dining room (there is another dining room for visitors). Lunch featured no less than three full plates of risotto of different types, and several stellar wines including delicious Sauvignon Blanc and dessert wine.
It was a great visit to one of the larger producers in the area.