Of Zenato wines and Sonia Gandhi….

What is common to Venice, Sisley, Tiramisu, Romeo and Juliet and none other than Sonia Gandhi? Ms Gandhi in a Sisley outfit sitting in Venice reading a Shakespearean novel and having Tiramisu…lame !! Well the point is they are all are from or at least originated from Veneto a region North east of Italy. Veneto has a an eventful history and now known for its tourism,its cuisine and its wines. Veneto is best known for its Prosecco a sparkling wine and its globe-trending white, Pinot Grigio but also held in high esteem for its wine regions Valapolicella, Bardolino etc.

Veneto Wine Map

Veneto Wine Map

Grapes drying under controlled conditions for the Amarone

Grapes drying under controlled conditions for the Amarone

It was an afternoon to celebrate Zenato wines from  Venetia ;  hosted by Aspri spirits, the leading importers of wines and spirits in the country. Zenato wines, under Sergio Zenato began their operations in 1960, in Lugana,South-West Veneto and slowly expanded to reach Valpolicella. To introduce their portfolio was present Nadia Zenato,owner and also the commercial and marketing manager for the company. Nadia, a fine Italian lady has been at the helm of several wine associations in Italy and along with other quality wine producers have taken up the onus of safeguarding their regional wine heritage and native grape varieties like Corvina and Garganega. She said ” We are available in 65 countries and India is a market which has been responsive for the past couple of years. We are excited about our brands here and they have been accepted and appreciated.”

To this date Zenato make white wines in Lugana (100% Trebbiano),Soave (Garganega blend),Custoza (Garganega+Trebbiano) and go as far as Trentino to include a Pinot Grigio. They also do a traditional method Lugana sparkling using Trebbiano. In its red portfolio is the Bardolino ( blend of Corvina,Rondinella), the Valpolicella; in Amarone and ripasso styles too and they are trying a signature varietal; Cressaso a 100% Corvina red. In Indian Aspri has got a portfolio consisting of Amarone Della Valpolicella and Bardolino in reds and Lugana and Soave in whites. Amarone is a full-bodied style where grapes are dried for at least 150 days before pressing to make wine and ripasso is made out of re-pressing the pomace of the Amarone.

We tasted two wines that evening:

Soave-ClassicoBardolinoSoave Classico DOC:

Vintage: 2009 Alcohol: 12.5% Grape: 70% Garganega Price: Rs2400

Light-gold in colour it gave out a mild floral aroma and was also reminiscent of  olives in brine. It was medium bodied with balanced acidity and medium finish. Am glad that this wine made it through 2013.

Bardolino DOC:

Vintage: 2011 Alcohol: 12.5% Grape: Corvina,Molinara blend Price: Rs 2250

Pale Garnet in colour this beauty was very fruit forward on the nose, earthy with a hint of sweet spice. Had great fruit on the palate,bracing acidity and soft tannin made it refreshing. Both the wines are drink now or never. Try to see if you can pick a 2012 vintage for both for a better experience.

The evening ended with flutes of Prosecco and wine-induced banter and I left the venue day dreaming of having a sparkling Lugana  on a Gondola!

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