Valpolicella and Soave are two of the most ubiquitous Italian DOC wines. The Castagnedis have turned them into something far beyond ordinary. They have also crafted superlative Amarone. In 1995, the four Castagnedi brothers, having tended their father Antonio’s vineyards while growing up, decided to found their own venture with the goal of producing premium DOC wines.
Tenuta Sant’Antonio has earned its reputation as a premium and progressive producer of Veneto DOC wines (Amarone, Valpolicella, Ripasso, Passito, Soave and Recioto della Valpolicella), as well as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Tenuta Sant’Antonio wines are made from 100% estate-grown fruit from its vineyards in Soave in the Val d’Illasi, and Monti Garbi, its 100 hectares estate vineyard, 20 ht in the Soave area and 80 ht in the Valpolicella area.
|APPELLATION(S)||Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG, Valpolicella DOC, Valpolicella Ripasso DOC|
|PROPRIETORS||Castagnedi Brothers (Tiziano, Armando, Paolo and Massimo)|
(SUSTAINABLE, ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC)
The winery’s hillside vineyards are at an average altitude of 1,000 feet. Vine density (Guyot trained at 7-8,000 vines per hectare), hand harvesting, and low yields provide exceptional quality fruit needing minimal “intervention” during winemaking.
The unique style characterizing Tenuta Sant’Antonio’s wines begins with the soil. “A different soil, a different mentality,” says Armando Castagnedi, referring to the Monti Garbi vineyards in Mezzane, in which grow the traditional grapes for Valpolicella, Amarone and Ripasso, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon. Garbi means “tasty, tart and acidic.” The chunky, chalky Monti Garbi soil is more calcareous and alluvial than clay-like Valpolicella soil. The Castagnedi family call it scaia, a Veronese dialectical term also used to describe Parmesan crumbs. Scaia soil imparts a higher acidity and bolder cherry fruit character to the wines.
Grapes for Valpolicella and Amarone are selected by flavor profile, as opposed to the common practice of using lower quality grapes to make Valpolicella and better quality grapes for Amarone. For the estate Amarone, produced only in the most ideal vintages, juice is pressed by hand and fermented with natural yeasts. Constant stirring of the lees adds additional complexity to all of Tenuta Sant’Antonio’s wines.