Scaia Corvina 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In the 1980s, four brothers—Armando, Tiziano, Paolo, and Massimo Castagnedi—began making their first moves toward opening their own winery. They had inherited 50 acres of vineyards in the eastern section of Valpolicella from their father, and in 1989 they purchased 75 more acres in the same general area, releasing their first vintage under the Tenuta Sant'Antonio label in 1995. In 2006 they began a new project under the Scaia label to further explore the potential of the traditional varieties they were growing.
In naming this new brand Scaia, they referenced the type of soil they had in their vineyards—a chalky, granular soil that broke apart easily. Scaia is a word in Veronese dialect for crumbs, like little pieces of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese that fall off a large block, which the soil resembles. Scaia soil imparts a higher acidity and bolder fruit character to the wines.
The Scaia brand became an avenue for innovation, where they could experiment with new interpretations of the great traditions of Valpolicella and Veneto—for example, atypical blends of traditional grape varieties, or varietal wines from grapes that are usually blended. The resulting wines—white, red, and rosato—are strongly rooted in the region’s winemaking traditions, but with a fresh twist and at an affordable price.
Producing every style of wine and with great success, the Veneto is one of the most multi-faceted wine regions of Italy.
Veneto's appellation called Valpolicella (meaning “valley of cellars” in Italian) is a series of north to south valleys and is the source of the region’s best red wine with the same name. Valpolicella—the wine—is juicy, spicy, tart and packed full of red cherry flavors. Corvina makes up the backbone of the blend with Rondinella, Molinara, Croatina and others playing supporting roles. Amarone, a dry red, and Recioto, a sweet wine, follow the same blending patterns but are made from grapes left to dry for a few months before pressing. The drying process results in intense, full-bodied, heady and often, quite cerebral wines.
Soave, based on the indigenous Garganega grape, is the famous white here—made ultra popular in the 1970s at a time when quantity was more important than quality. Today one can find great values on whites from Soave, making it a perfect choice as an everyday sipper! But the more recent local, increased focus on low yields and high quality winemaking in the original Soave zone, now called Soave Classico, gives the real gems of the area. A fine Soave Classico will exhibit a round palate full of flavors such as ripe pear, yellow peach, melon or orange zest and have smoky and floral aromas and a sapid, fresh, mineral-driven finish.
The chief variety in Valpolicella and Amarone della Valpolicella of the Veneto region of Italy, Corvina contributes intense red cherry and blackberry along with a touch of tartness and tannins to the blend. It is especially well suited to the drying process required to make Amarone. Corvina is also the main grape variety in Bardolino, a light red from the southeastern side of Lake Garda, also in Veneto. Somm Secret—Because of the dark and almost black coloring of its grape berries, Corvina takes its name from the Italian word, corvo, a local, jet-black raven.