The Benazzoli sisters’ website doesn’t have an “about” page.
In its stead, enonauts will find a “Made by Women” page that tells their story and their unique approach to viticulture in all its expressions. (For those conversant in the patois of internetspeak, n.b. the slug “womens dreams.”)
On a chilly, drizzly, overcast day last October, a visit to the Benazzoli estate delivered me and my buddy Giovanni a stone’s throw from Lake Garda in the Bardolino DOC.
There, we tasted through a buoyant, energetic flight of wines that Claudia and Gilia grow, raise, and bottle themselves.
The premature loss of their father led them to take over this family-owned estate, which also includes rows in the Monte hamlet of Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella.
A stroll through the vineyards that lie adjacent to the tasting room and winery revealed the classic morainic soils (above) that give these wines their signature lift and liveliness.
Claudia, who received us that day, recounted how challenging it was to manage the winery after the loss of their father, emotionally but also professionally since the girls had hardly completed their studies.
But it was challenge they felt compelled to accept, in part to honor their father’s legacy as a renowned Bardolino and Valpolicella farmer.
As traditional and classically delicious the wines are (bright, vibrant, transparent fruit and restrained alcohol were the common denominators), the women’s approach to marketing their products couldn’t be more creative — and brilliant.
Those are two of the labels they’ve created for their wines, above and below, the Chiaretto and Bardolino, respectively, both blends of Corvina (roughly 80 percent) and Rondinella.
I highly encourage you to check out their super cool website where you immediately get a sense of the intellectual depth behind their winemaking.
What’s not to love about everything they do?
I currently have a small allocation of Benazzoli wines available through my California distribution and retail business. DM if you need some.