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Tenuta Sant'Antonio Soave Fontana 2008
Aroma: fresh flowery hint of white grape and elder flowers, ripe pale white fruit such as apple and pear.
Flavor: medium-sweet and warming with sustained but well-balanced acidity, pleasant aftertaste of almond.
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.
Among Italy’s classic whites capable of great potential, Soave is named after the medieval village and surrounding hillsides from whence it comes. The original, historical Soave zone, delimited back in 1927, covers the eastern, volcanic hillsides of today's general Soave zone and is called Soave Classico.
Garganega, the indigenous grape responsible for great Soave, produces medium bodied white wines with fine acidity. Typical in the best Soaves are lively flowery and fresh herbal aromas and flavors such as orange zest, peach, melon and marjoram. The best can take some age and in so doing, develop notes of chamomile, marmalade and honey.
By the 1960s and 70s, Soave was enjoying such a glorious global reputation, that its demand forced growers to push beyond the zone's original borders. Expansion led west out of the hills and onto the alluvial plain of the Adige River. This, coupled with an increase in yields and allowance of additional varieties such as Trebbiano, Chardonnay and Pinot blanc, met demand but created a softer, fruit-forward, everyday Soave. Today the broader region can be the source of charming and value driven whites. But those labeled as Soave Classico or in rare cases, as Soave Colli Scaligeri (nearby hillside vineyards abutting the Classico zone), will be the best quality and age-worthy Soaves. These are often 100% Garganega.
Flourishing in the rolling vineyards surrounding the medieval village of Soave in the Veneto region, Garganega is one of Italy’s classic white varieties. By law it makes up 70 to 100% of the white wine of the area, aptly and simply known as, Soave, with the remainder traditionally finished off by Trebbiano di Soave for its crispness. More recently international varieties like Chardonnay are being used to create softer and fruitier Soave.
The best Soave wines, measurably elegant and vibrant, come from the Soave Classico zone, in the center of Soave, where the hills are made of decomposed volcanic and granitic soils. The remainder of the zone tends to give rounder and fuller versions of Garganega.
Garganega’s best white wines are steely and delicate with yellow peach, melon, almond, Herbs de Provence and lime zest flavors and aromas. Its simpler versions can offer great values and make wonderful quaffers. If you like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris, try Graganega for something a little different.