Recently I had lunch with Gary Grunner, a wine importer who is very passionate about Soave, the white wine from the Veneto. We were at SD26 in NYC and Gary brought one of my favorite Soaves from Tenuta Santa Maria Alla Pieve winery to drink with lunch.
Gary said that Gaetano Bertani established Tenuta Santa Maria Alla Pieve in 1991. The property had been owned by the Bertani family since the 1860’s and managed by Gaetano since 1971. Today Giovanni and Gugliemo, his two sons, assist him. Gaetano is the wine maker and the consulting enologist is Franco Bernabei.
Soave “Lepia” 2011 IGT made from 100% Garganega Veronese. The soil is clay with calcareous-marly subsoil. The training system is the pergoletta, and there are 3,800 vines per hectare. The grapes are harvested in September at different times of ripening and crushed separately, with cold pre-fermentation skin contact. The grapes are gently pressed and fermented. The wine is blended in January and racked in stainless steel tanks with the thin lees. Then there is a short bottle refinement. The wine has flavors and aromas of pears and peaches with a hint of almonds and nice minerality. I like this Soave because it reflects the indigenous grape and the terroir. $21
The wine went very well with both the octopus I had as a first course and the sea food ravioli which followed.