Four Brothers, a Dream, and “Monti Garbi”
Four brothers, driven by a love of wine which began in their father's vineyards, produce some of the most distinctive wines in the Valpolicella district near Verona, Italy: Amarone, Valpolicella Ripasso and Valpolicella. At first the brothers, Armando, Paolo, Tiziano, and Massimo Castagnedi, started making wine out of a desire to put themselves to the test outside the family business. Soon, however, they found themselves embarking on a new adventure.
In 1989 they purchased 30 hectares of land around Mezzane which, when added to their father's property, brought the Tenuta Sant’Antonio
vineyards to its current total of 50 hectares. The time was right for them to take the plunge. They decided to produce their own wine, and along the way made a name for themselves for their quality and professionalism. It was their new vineyard, Monti Garbi, that earned them a place of distinction in Italian wine circles.
For more than twenty years, while many wine producers were focusing on quantity, the Castagnedi clan rewrote the rulebook, concentrating strictly on quality. Since the beginning, Tenuta Sant’Antonio has remained faithful to certain principles: tending to the vineyards, carefully handpicking the bunches, low yields, and keeping the grapes meticulously pristine from the time they are picked to when they are taken to the winery.
Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso is a match made in heaven.
It was generations past, in their pursuit of fine wines who pioneered the Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso method, which has been handed down and is embodied in Monti Garbi.
It is the unique union of finished Valpolicella Superiore going through second fermentation after Amarone pomace has been added to the must, (“repassing”), that the magical Valpolicella Ripasso is created. The result is a wine of rich character that takes on the nuances of Amarone while maintaining the vibrancy of Valpolicella Superiore.
is as fine of an example of this method as there is, a real winner. The wine is sourced from grapes grown on the estate’s Monti Garbi vineyard and is aged for 16 months in a combination of new and used large oak casks. It has a touch of sweetness on a full bodied frame with firm tannins and balanced acidity that keep the flavor juicy. It is beautifully balanced with notes of sweet spices on the lengthy finish.
Modern Amarone is now produced in special drying chambers under controlled conditions. This approach minimizes the amount of handling of the grapes and helps prevent the onset of mold. The process of fermenting dried grapes not only concentrates the juices within the grape but also increases the skin contact of the grapes. The drying process further metabolizes
within the grape and creates a balance of the finished wine
The length of the drying process is typically 120 days but varies according to producer and the quality of the harvest
. The most evident consequence of this process is the loss of weight, which is typically between a 35% to 45% loss. Following drying in the end of January/beginning of February, the grapes are crushed and go through a dry low temperature fermentation
process which can last up to 50 days.
The result is a wine with ruby red with purple reflections and ripe red fruit, spicy fragrances of licorice, black pepper, and a hint of chocolate. It's a well-balanced wine, with round tannins, soft, hot, full-flavored, elegant, fine, and fresh.
Inside every bottle of Tenuta Sant’Antonio Amarone there is a lot more than just four different varieties of grapes. There is the pride that the team at Tenuta Sant'Antonio takes in producing such an important wine.
Breaking from the norm, Sant’Antonio produces two non-traditional wines that are expressions of the grape varieties of the region, Scaia.
Garganega is the primary white grape in the production of Soave, and Corvina has been identified as the prime component of the red wines produced in the Valpolicella region. Sant’Antonio brings both varietals to life in their easily accessible line up of Scaia.
Scaia wines are produced with the typical local grapes but that extra touch of imagination and care give them a modern take on an age-old tradition.
Scaia Garganega Chardonnay
Scaia Garganega Chardonnay is pleasantly light, in a class of its own, like its heritage. It has aromas of jasmine flowers and a bouquet of citrus fruits such as grapefruit, orange, and pineapple. The flavors are fresh and agreeable with a sustained acidity.
Pure expressions of Corvina are increasingly common in Valpolicella and the 2011 Scaia Corvina provides an exceptional portrait of this indigenous grape variety. The wine exhibits a bright ruby color with purple and garnet highlights. This is a beautiful wine that would drink well, slightly chilled, next to white meat or heavy seafood dishes. The wine wins high points for drinkability and overall freshness. It immediately evokes excellent food pairing possibilities. 90 Points The Wine Advocate