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Santi traces its origins to 1843, when Carlo Santi established a wine cellar in Illasi, near Verona and Lake Garda. The original winery has been renovated, and it comprises the winery and aging cellar on the plain below Castello d’Illasi, the ruins of a medieval fortress. Here, it’s as if outmoded winemaking methods have lost a key battle against new methods and progressive thinking about winemaking’s place in the surrounding environment. A method called ‘rigoverno,’ similar to ‘ripasso,’ is used whereby 20% of grapes at harvest are dried for two months then added to the still wine, prompting an additional fermentation. This imparts rich raisin, and dried fruit flavors and a chewy mouthfeel without heaviness, as in the Valpolicella ‘Solane,’ showing fresh red berry, anise and herb aromas and clean, crisp black cherry flavors on the palate with linear acidity and soft tannins. The ‘Solane’ Valpolicella and ‘Monteforte’ Soave wines are exceptional values in their categories.
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