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Tenuta Sant'Antonio Scaia Corvina 2012
The time was right for them to take the plunge. Armando, Paolo, Tiziano and Massimo Castagnedi decided to produce their own wine, becoming vinedressers and earning a name for themselves for their quality and professionalism. It was a real challenge. The decision to plant new vines alongside the existing vineyards and to build a new winery in the Monti Garbi area (which in dialect means "sour" or "hard", demanded courage and a keen business sense: two qualities which the Castagnedi brothers are not short on.
For more than twenty years, while many wine producers were focusing on quantity, the Castagnedi clan rewrote the rulebook, concentrating wholly on quality. Ever since it was established, Tenuta Sant'Antonio has remained faithful to certain principles: tending to the vine branch by branch, carefully handpicking the bunches, low yield per plant, keeping the grapes meticulously clean from when they are picked to when they are taken to the winery and the wine bottled, patiently waiting for the wine to mature in new wooden barrels, ageing in the bottle.
A large and diverse wine region in northeastern Italy, the Veneto is home to a vast array of different styles of wine. With no defining regional characteristics, it can be a bit confusing to the general consumer to parse through its many subzones, but the patient wine lover will find many treasures to be discovered here, typically at wallet-friendly prices. Red and white wines are produced here, with more emphasis on the latter, as well as the ultra-popular sparkling wine Prosecco. The region is sheltered from harsh northern European winters by the Alps, which form its northern border, but the climate is still relatively cool, making the Veneto ideal for white wine production.
Much of Italy’s Pinot Grigio hails from the Veneto, where it can range from neutral and inoffensive to crisp and refreshing. Soave, made primarily from the Garganega grape, has a reputation for producing relatively ordinary, bulk wines, but can be very elegant when yields are carefully monitored, with aromas of lemon, almond, and white flowers. Valpolicella is the region’s best-known red wine, with juicy, tart red cherry flavors derived from the Corvina grape. Recioto and Amarone wines made from dried grapes are a regional specialty and can be very intense, heady, and cerebral.
The chief variety in Valpolicella and Amarone della Valpolicella of the Veneto region of Italy, Corvina contributes intense ripe red cherry and blackberry fruit, a touch of tart acidity and valuable tannins to the blend. It is especially well suited to the drying process required to make Amarone. Key Valpolicella producers may occasionally bottle a single varietal Corvina. For example, Allegrini’s La Poja shows the grape’s solo potential, as a concentrated and well-balanced wine with an impressive aging potential.
Corvina is also the main grape variety in Bardolino, a light and charming, though not particularly age worthy, red wine from the southeastern side of Lake Garda, also in Veneto.
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.