(AVIO – TRENTO) An estate that demonstrates how even in Trentino Alto Adige there can be excellent red wines, such as San Leonardo, the most representative wine of the company that honors this part of Italy.
San Leonardo’s History and Philosophy
The Trentino region of Italy’s north, Alpine in its geography and cool in its climate, has long been best known for its white wines, in particular Chardonnay-based sparkling wines, bottled fermented and, in many cases, an extremely valid alternative to Champagne. Red grape cultivation consists, principally of the local Teroldego, Lagrein and Marzemino grapes and is not a major phenomenon: there are close to ten times the number of vineyard acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, for example, than of Teroldego and Lagrein.
In the southernmost – and obviously warmest – part of the Adige river valley, however, there is a certain cultivation of Cabernet and Merlot which gives wine of some quality. And, in the case of the San Leonardo estate of Avio, quality which can only be termed exceptional. Behind this outstanding and estate and its wines there is a fascinating story, one which very much worth recounting.
The wines of San Leonardo
The vineyards, which once belonged to first to the church and then to a monastic order, passed in 1770 to the current proprietors, the Guerri Gonzaga, one of the grand families of Italy. Wine was produced for many generations, but nothing of substantial interest or notoriety. This changed, however, and changed greatly when Marquis Carlo Guerrieri Gonzaga, while still a young man but one who had studied oenology in Switzerland, became involved in operations. There was the classic generational conflict over aims and goals, and it was resolved when he departed for Tuscany where he worked at the San Guido estate: the place where Sassicaia was born.
And he was very much a part of the creation of that legendary wine. Operations inevitably came under his control, time passes for everyone, and for over 35 years his have been benchmark wines for Italy, illustrious examples of how well Bordeaux grapes can perform in many a different climate. A further increase in quality, finesse, and class was assisted by the arrival of Tuscan consultant Carlo Ferrini. A fine Sauvignon has emerged in the line, and Villa Gresti, a blend of Merlot and Carménère, has become an important wine as well. But the marvelous San Leonardo remains the reference point wine, one which honors this part of Italy.
|Appellation:||Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT|
|Grapes:||60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Carmenère e 10% Merlot|
Info & Contacts San Leonardo
Address: Località San Leonardo, 1, 38063 Avio TN
Tel: +39 0464 689004