Producing classic wines from the Veneto is our passion. In the 1950s Giuseppe Inama, the estate's founder, began purchasing small plots of vineyards in the heart of the Soave Classico region using nothing more than his savings - at that time, few understood the area's potential. But Giuseppe was a believer. His idea was to assemble only top quality vineyards of old-vine Garganega and fashion from them a wine capable of restoring Soave's reputation.
Today our estate comprises more than 25 hectares of vineyards in the very heart of the Soave Classico. In the 1990s we decided to expand our production to include red wines and, after much research, settled on the Colli Berici, a system of terrarossa hills some 15 kilometres (10 miles) east of Soave in the neighbouring province of Vicenza. At first glance the two zones appear to have little in common but they share one fundamental element: the possibility to produce wines reflecting a unique terroir.
Each terroir is best expressed through a different variety. In the Soave Classico appellation the steep hills and the meagre basalt soils are carpeted with Garganega. An intensely aromatic variety, it was first planted here by the Romans and was originally known as "Grecanicum", a reference to its Greek origins, although it arrived here from Sicily via Campania where its cousin, Greco, is still widely planted. Isolated from its family, it gradually mutated through hundreds of generations. The name changed and so did the vine: its current, floral iteration gives voice to the inimitable blend of Alpine and Mediterranean influences found in Soave.
The story of the Colli Berici is a similar but more modern tale and is even more exciting. The mineral-rich terrarossa here was colonized with Carmenère in the middle of the 19th century by emigrants returning from Aquitaine. In those days jobs were scarce and many agricultural workers followed the harvest around Europe, inevitably finishing the season in northern France. Bordeaux was in its heyday and cuttings of Carmenère, a popular grape, were willingly brought back to the Colli Berici. Fast forward 150 years and Carmenère is already considered a local variety in the hot, dry climate of the Colli Berici. In fact, our plants are beginning to show subtle differences from their French relations. Who knows what it might be called in another millennium?