Tama Takahashi
April 16, 2013 | MIscellaneous Wine Fun! , Wine & Food Pairings, Wine Country Travel | Tama Takahashi

Tedeschi Wines From Italy's Valpolicella Region

Tedeschi winery family of ItalyThe Italian wine estate Tedeschi is older than the United States of America. The Tedeschi family has been making wine in the hilly Valpolicella region east of Lake Guarda since 1630. Currently three siblings manage the winery: Antonietta, who handles Italian sales and the winery administration, Sabrina, a food scientist, and Riccardo, an enologist who oversees the winemaking and foreign sales. They have taken over the day-to-day business of the winery from their father Lorenzo who was the first in the family line to bottle wine. The Tedeschi historically sold wine in demijohns to "osterie" or wine bars.

Tedeschi wines of ItalyLorenzo brought modern techniques and marketing to the winery, while keeping his family's long-standing traditions in place, and his children carry on the this marriage of the best of tradition with the most sophisticated modern technology. For example, when the family decided to expand their holding to include the Maternigo vineyard in the Valpolicella DOC region, they mapped their vineyards using infrared photography and underwent detailed analysis of the soil and vine canopy to insure each individual vine in the vineyard is planted to the best advantage. As the father, Lorenzo, says, "you have to pay attention to the smallest details, because that is how great wine is made".

Renzo TedeschiValpolicella is a favored wine throughout the world for the excellent wines made from its indigenous varietals, which include the most important grapes: Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella. Lorenzo's son,Riccardo, explains that the Corvina grape gives complexity and volume to the wine, Covinone gives structure and tannins and the Rondinella adds round, cherry flavors. The Tedeschi quest for quality is paramount. Their vineyards are carefully tended to produce small bunches of grapes with concentrated flavor. As Lorenzo says, "You need small bunches, it's with small bunches that you make great wine."

Finest Italian wines 100 great producersFor their award-winning Amarone, not only are the grapes hand-harvested, but only the grapes at the very top of each select grape cluster is used. The care and attention that the Tedeschi family lavishes on their wine has brought them high-ratings and the invitation this year to present their  2007 Tedeschi La Fabriseria Amarone Della Valpolicella DOC Classico at the prestigious opening to VinItaly: "Finest Italian Wines, 100 Great Producers" as chosen by Wine Spectator. This was the second year in a row they have had a wine included in this preeminent list.

Tedeschi vineyardsOne of the daughters, Sabrina, gave us a tour of their steep, hillside Le Pontare vineyard--one of their 4 vineyards--which produces the vineyard-designate "La Fabriseria" Amarone and Valpolicella wines. The calcareous outcropping in the photo displays one reason their wines have great minerality that adds to the complexity of the rich fruit flavors. The south-eastern exposure is perfect for sun exposure and the breezy hill location provides perfect ventilation. Only 3,000 bottles of Amarone are produced per year, but only when the vintage is just right. So, when the 2009 harvest was not up to the Tedeschi's exacting standards, no Amarone was made from this vineyard.

Tedeschi winery tasting roomTedeschi produces a portfolio of fine red wines, including Valpolicella Luchine, designed to drink young and fresh; powerful Amarone with concentrated fruit and a multi-faceted flavor profile--made with premium grapes dried before vinification for maximum intensity; and their dessert wine Recioto--a sensory delight for nose and palate. They also make intriguing white wines, like their Vin de la Fabriseria Vino Passito, made from Garganega and Saorin grapes. Visit their website to view their entire portfolio: www.tedeschiwines.com, or even better, visit their winery when you are in visiting Verona. Tastings available by appointment only.

Sabrina had a few wine pairing suggestions; for the Amarone: pheasant braised in Amarone, risotto with mushrooms, game meats or Monte Veronese cheese, a raw cow milk cheese made in Lessini mountain.. For the Recioto: dark chocolate or veined cheese, like Roquefort.


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