Fattori 2019 Soave 'Gregoris'
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Antonio Fattori is famed for his delicious & zesty Soaves from the volcanic hills to the east of Verona. Light, fragrant and delicate with floral notes, pink grapefruit lime and apricots
The Wine Region
Veneto is the largest of Italy's vineyards covering a large part of NE Italy from the Alps to the north to the fertile plains of the Po River basin in the south. It is no surprise the the best vineyards are on the slopes with the industrial wine coming from the flats. This region is the home of some of the country's most famous DOCs Soave, Valpolicella and Prosecco to name a few. Soave and Valpolicella are next door neighbours and are both composed of limestone and basaltic formations. Soave is potentially one of Italy's great white wines: a regions that is exploring its zones in developing a cru system. Valpolicella is already established as one of the great sources of red wines in the north of Italy reaching its peak with the very best producers of Amarone.
Prosecco has undergone one of the biggest booms to occur anywhere in the world of wine. From humble beginnings which was essentially just two communes, Valdobbiadene and Conegliano, Prosecco has spread like wildfire across the plains and hills of NE Italy.
Soave sits on the border of the pre-Alps and fertile plain of the Po basin, with those coming from the hillsides the only ones that we would consider stocking at Noble Grape. Here in the hills, there is a split between those on limestone formations and those on volcanic, but either way Soave is a thoroughly interesting wine for the adventurous wine drinker. Garganega is the main variety, but there can be small additions of other varieties such as Trebbiano di Soave (recently identified as being identical to Verdicchio), and the lesser Trebbiano Toscano.
The Soave consorzio has been very smart and forward thinking in identifying its subzones and encouraging producers to label their wines according to their specific origins. Testament to the potential for quality that can be found here.
Other Regions of Veneto
The surname 'Fattori' suggests that the family's roots lie in working on the land, probably for a local landowner. It isn't clear when the Fattori family became landowners, but they were first documented as having wineries in the early 1900s. Antonio Fattori, the current owner and enologist's grandfather began by planting vines in the hills surrounding the village of Terrossa. Remarkably, Antonio didn't lose heart when on returning from battle in 1919 he found his vines destroyed by phylloxera.
The Fattori family has been running the winery since 1970. The present head and enologist of the winery Antonio Fattori (named so after his father and his father's father), was the first to have an opportunity to study professional winemaking. As such, he is passionate about incorporating modern winemaking techniques and state-of-the-art-technology, though without compromising his family's reputation as producers of high-quality and authentic wines.
Since taking over the winery, Antonio Fattori has preserved old vineyards, planted new ones, with a different vine for every wine at every altitude (between 150 - 450 metres msl.). He uses cement, stainless steel and oak containers for fermentation, and processes the must in non-invasive ways in order to eliminate as far as possible the need for chemicals.
The major factors that influence how a wine tastes are its grape variety, climate and the human factors of winemaking and viticulture, but it all begins with the soil, the dirt from which the vine is nourished. Varying soil types, their fertility, water retain capacity and mineral content all play a part in the wine's quality and style.
The world of wine is dotted with little pockets of volcanic regions, whether active or long extinct, and these soils impart their own distinctive character in the resulting wines. Generally speaking, volcanic regions are low in fertility, which is great for grapevines as this encourages the vine to produce sweeter and richer berries. The wines from these regions certainly do echo the drama of volcanoes and many wine drinkers seek out the wines for their distinctive minerality, and crisp acidity.
For further reading, we thoroughly recommend John Szabo's comprehensive book on the topic, Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit and Power.