I first met Sandro Tasoniero, owner of the Sandro De Bruni winery, at a tasting in NYC a few years ago. I was impressed with his wines, especially the Soave. I told him I would write about his wines and visit him the next time I was in the Veneto. However for some reason it just did not happen.
This winter I had only one free day in Verona, the day I arrived. By coincidence, Elisa Bosco from PR Comunicare IL Vino asked me if I would like to visit the Sandro de Bruno winery. I knew I would be tired from the flight but I still wanted to go. Elisa picked me up at the hotel and in a short time we arrived at the winery.
The winery is located in Pergola di Montecchia di Crosara just outside of Verona and the vineyards are in Montecchia di Crosara and Terrossa, where there are 12 hectares of vines at 600 meters on Mount Calvarina, a dormant volcano. The soil is lava, enriched with minerals.
Sandro spoke about the terroir of Mount Calvarina an area with a unique and ideal microclimate with a range of temperatures between night and day. Good rainfall, daily sun exposure, constant ventilation and perfect drainage.
Sandro said they always apply the principles of sustainable and integrated agriculture in the winery and try to create a natural balance without interfering with nature. No chemical products are used and this also goes for the weeding. It is the perfect combination between organic and conventional farming.
Lessini Durello DOC Metodo Classico Riserva “Durello” made from 85% Durello and 15 Pinot Bianco. From Monte Calvarina at 600 meters. The soil is volcanic, there are 4,000 plants per hectare, the average age of the vines is 30 years, the training system is Pergoletta Veronese and the exposure is south. Fermentation takes place in 30hl oak barrels for the Pinot Bianco and stainless steel for the Durello. This is a wine with nice bubbles and hints of white flowers and citrus fruit and a mineral undertone.
Soave Doc “Scaligeri” made from 100% Garganega from small plots of land located on the slopes of Mont Calvarina. The vineyard is at 4,000 meters and the average age of the vineyards is 20 years. The training system is Pergoletta Veronese and the exposure is south. The soil is volcanic. There is manual harvesting using crates, grape sorting, de-stemming, grape selection, then a slow crushing of the grapes and pressing with nitrogen saturation. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel. This is a wine with hints of pear, figs, and almonds with good minerality.
Soave Superiore DOCG “Monte San Pietro” made from 100% Garganega from the hills around Roncà, at 330 meters. The soil is volcanic, there are 4,000 vines per hectare, the training system is Pergoletta Veronese and the exposure is south. Fermentation is in big oak barrels of 30hl. This is a well-structured, complex wine with hints of tropical fruit, white pepper and vanilla. This soave can age, I tasted a few bottles from older vintages and I was impressed with all of them. Sandro said all of the wines remain in the cellar for at least one year before release. This is why the wines age so well, even the whites. Sandro makes some of the best Soave I have ever tasted.
Pinot Nero “Nero Fumo” IGt Veneto made from 100% Pinot Noir from Monte Calvarina at 580 meters. There are 7,000 vines per hectare, the training system is guyot and the exposure is south. The soil is volcanic with basaltic rocks. The name Nero Fumo, black smoke, is the typical color of the basaltic rock in the vineyards. There is a manual harvest using crates the third week September. There is a grape selection, de –stemming and a selection of berries. Fermentation is in conic vats and the must is punched down for 30 days. This is a fruity and full bodied wine with hints of red berries and spic