MONTE D’ALL ORA, Carlo and Alessandra Venturini, Castelroto, Verona – Biodynamic, Natural
When Alessandra and Carlo Venturini first discovered Monte dall’Ora, it was love at first sight. As children of farmers, they were excited and challenged by the hard work it was going to take to restore these ancient vineyards. Located in Castelroto, in the hills outside of Verona, the vineyards of Monte dall’Ora are planted on a base of limestone soil and form a natural amphitheatre facing southeast towards the city. In fact, portions of their vineyards are planted on ancient dry stone terraces called marogna, a design in which large stones form the exterior support structure and smaller stones form a spit of land in the interior. This brittle stone, in which fossils and petrified shells can be found, allows for excellent drainage and deep penetration of the vines.
The Venturinis are firm adherents to biodynamic principles. As such, they encourage the growth of biodiversity by planting herbs such as rosemary and lavender in the summer, whose fragrant blooms are attractive to bees; and sowing cereals in the winter, whose roots move and aerate the soil. In addition, Alessandra and Carlo have emphasized traditional and native grape varieties wherever possible to give originality and typicity.
All the wines are blends of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara and Oseleta. Fermentation is spontaneous with indigenous yeasts and extraction is gentle giving wines of gentle, cherry-fruited elegance.
Valpolicella Camporenzo vineyard is a few kilometers from the home vineyard and is similar in its hilliness and its crumbly limestone soils. The vines of traditional Valpolicella varieties were planted in 2008, trained on wires in guyot rather than in pergola for greater concentration in this cru Superiore bottling. The fruit, 50% Corvina/30% Corvinone/20% Rondinella is destemmed and gently pressed; spontaneous fermentation takes place with native yeasts and without sulfur in concrete and steel tanks (from which the short-fermentation-and-maceration Saseti wine has been removed). Maceration lasts 7-8 days with periodic manual punch-downs. The wine is aged for about 6 months in tank and then 6 months in old 25-hectoliter oak botti. The wine is bottled without filtration and with a small amount of sulfur. Production is around 9000 bottles.
Ruby red colour with perfume of red fruits, such as cherries, as well as hints of hay and spices, and ends with vanilla notes. The flavour echoes the sensations on the nose, whilst maintaining a somewhat traditional, well-defined style. The wine has a delicious complexity and structure, making it very moreish indeed. This is a wine for drinking throughout the meal. It goes particularly well with traditional Veronese dishes such as local soups (like pasta e fasoi), poultry and moderately aged cheeses.