W&W Wine Buyer Graham Simpson was asked to accompany Liberty Wines on a four day wine trip to Northern Italy, encompassing the wine regions of Veneto, Lombardia and Piedmont. This was a perfect opportunity for him to take a closer look at some of the world's best wine making areas with a view to adding some new wines to our range!
A group of four from northwest England met up in Venice with another group from Scotland and the nine of us set off for the trip to the lovely town of Soave. This is a walled town in a province of Verona with a castle atop the hill and surrounded by vineyards.
The Morning of Day 1 - Visiting Pieropan
We were in Soave to visit the Pieropan winery, which is in the town centre and encompasses both the winery and living quarters for the family. After a spot of lunch at a local restaurant (with a couple of Pieropan's wines, naturally), we wandered the fifty yards or so to the winery where we were met by Andrea Pieropan, son of Nino Pieropan, who has been overseeing the winemaking since 1970. The harvest of Garganega grapes was underway and whilst we were there a selection of grapes for their sweet wine, the Recioto di Soave had just been brought in for sorting and placing on straw mats in the loft at the top of the winery. in 1999 Pieropan increased their vineyard holdings by buying a property holding of 8 hectares (ha) in the Valpolicella region (now increased to 20 ha) and they have added a Valpolicella Superiore and an Amarone to their portfolio.
We tasted the following wines with Andrea:
Intense and mineral-like.
From vineyards in the heart of the Soave Classico area was just that little more intense than the straight Classico.
Soave La Rocca
From the slopes of Monte Rocchetta just below the castle was distinctive and rich without being overblown.
Ruberpan Valpolicella Superiore
This had a delicate nature and was so very cherry-like. Could be served lightly chilled on a warm day
This was intense and opulent but still with restraint and character.
Le Colombare Recioto di Soave
Delicately sweet and elderflower-like with a honeysuckle finish.
More Pics from Pieropan
So that brought to a close a busy but very interesting first day in Italy. Stay tuned for day 2!