Our first tasting appointment yesterday was in the cellars of the legendary Valpolicella winery Quintarelli in Negrar. Amazing, on so many levels… simply stunning wines (you don’t need me to tell you that)… There will be a proper post dedicated to the illustrious flight of wines shared with Tracie P, Alfonso, and me (and you might be surprised by what I found out about the 1998 Alzero). But the 1997 Recioto della Valpolicella… wow… one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted…
Next came L’Arco, with owner Luca Fedrigo, who worked with winemaker Giuseppe Quintarelli in the latter’s cellar from the age of 17 to 27 before starting his own winery (he’s now 33). I met Luca in Austin in 2009 and was floored by the elegance and freshness of his wines. I believe that he is the best young winemaker in the appellation (by far) and his traditional-style wines — made proudly in the style of his mentor, aged in large cask — are phenomenal. They’re not easy to find in the U.S. but if you want to know what REAL Valpolicella wines taste like, seek them out…
Our last visit of the day was at Monte dei Ragni, where Zeno Zignoli (right) practices radical biodynamic and organic farming. Zeno is an “off the grid” character and winemaker. I met him thanks to the young Paduan student Andrea Fasolo (left) whom I met through blogging.
The “three different faces” of Valpolicella winemaking formed a 180° arc and were all fascinating in their own right.
But the face that stole my heart yesterday was this one:
I have to say that, although it may seem, Zeno does not practice byodinamic farming, but takes some practices of it, and uses them in a broader context of natural farming.
Thanks again for this special day togheter!
Whishing we could meet again, taking more time to talk like yesterday!
Agree on L’Arco, Luca is very talented. Wish yours had been my day!
the bottle in the picture was probabily my best italian red wine tasted last year for the Vinibuoni guide… hope to see you soon at anteprime. af
what an incredible day! i shall live on the fumes of it until you return.
I absolutely agree about the Recioto from Quintarelli. Mind Blowing. Where can you get L’arco and Zeno in NYC area? Great Post. Quite jealous of the trip.