Tenuta Santa Maria Verona Wine Tasting With Special Guest Giovanni Bertani WWWB

Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 07:30 PM

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I like best the wine drunk at the cost of others.

Diogenes the Cynic


We are trying to keep the calendar of events full at the Wine Bar so we have at least Thursday, Friday and Saturday night filled with wine tasting events and this week we are open Wednesday also! 

Check the Calendar of events on our web page and if there is a scheduled tasting the Wine Bar we are also open for regular business.

We just added another great event to the calendar for next week with one of the first families of Verona the birthplace of my favorite types of wine- Amarone.

Amarone is one of the most unique wines in the world because they use a style of production known as appassimento.  This style of winemaking is when they dry the grapes before they ferment them making the resulting wine more concentrated and in most cases higher in alcohol than other wines that are made fermenting the grapes right after they are picked. 

The Ripasso technique which was born in Valpolicella as well is also unique in the wine world.  This is a method of production where they pass the juice of grapes that were crushed right after harvest aka already fermented juice (wine) over the must of the freshly crushed dried grapes used to make Amarone.  The must contains a little yeast and sugar so the wine now goes through a second fermentation (similar to Champagne) giving the resulting wine more body, flavor and of course more alcohol!  This wine is known as Valpolicella Ripasso and if you want to learn more about these amazing wines come out and meet one of the first families of the Valpolicella region Giovanni Bertani.

Giovanni will be here at the Wine Watch Wine Bar to show you the latest thing from his family the Villa Santa Maria Winery.  This new project is brought to you by our friends from Indigenous Selections and we are excited to be one of the first wine stores to carry these wines in the USA.   The fee for this tasting is $65 + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or email andy@winewatch.com.

Image result for Giovanni BertaniImage result for Giovanni Bertani
Tenuta Santa Maria Verona Wine Tasting - The next generation of the Bertani Family
With Special Guest Giovanni Bertani
at Wine Watch Wine Bar

Tasting Line-Up


Image result for 2011 Contratto Millesimato Extra Brut Spumante Italy

2011 Contratto Millesimato Extra Brut Spumante Italy
Price: $28.00    Your Price: $24.64

This is the Rivetti's newest project, Giorgio has always been a big fan if great Champagne and sparkling wine and there is great potential for Sparkling wine in the Piedmont, Contratto was founded in 1867 by Giuseppe Contratto and the winery is known as the oldest producer of sparkling wine in Italy. So this was a natural choice for them when the estate became available. The Millesimato Brut is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. The wine spends almost four years on the yeasts before disgorgement and is finished with a dosage of 5g/l. This wine has a nice developed bouquet of almond, white flowers, pear and apple fruit on the nose. A smooth and creamy mouse on the tongue with layers of flavors on the finish and nice freshness with good minerality showing through the finish.

Image result for Soave Lepia DOC 2016

Tenuta Santa Maria Soave Lepia DOC 2016   
Price: $19.25       Sale $16.94          Case $197

A SINGLE-VINEYARD SOAVE WHITE obtained from a local Garganega varietal with low-yield vineyards and careful attention to vinification, conducted in stainless steel. A pleasant surprise to the palate, with both freshness and depth, giving it an interesting and balanced structure.  Light straw-yellow. A complex aroma with scents of summer fruits, pears, peaches, herbs, almonds, as well as minerality. The taste is rich and fresh, with a pleasant saltiness that actually intensifies the softness. Mild vanilla taste and good persistency.

Image result for Tenuta Santa Maria Pràgal IGT Verona 2015

Tenuta Santa Maria Pràgal IGT Verona 2015  
Price: $19.25       Sale $16.94          Case $197

A fruity, spicy blend of Corvina, Merlot, and Syrah giving full expression of our region, intriguing in its easy elegance and full-bodied structure. Derived from low-yield vines, the wine is vinified with both fresh and partially dried grapes, and, after a lengthy maceration and fermentation phase/period, refined in large oak barrels in our historic cellars at Arbizzano di Negrar.  Deep ruby color lightly blended with garnet red and reflections of violet. Engaging bouquet with alternating hints of red fruit preserves, dried roses and black cherry with subtler tones of dark spice, tobacco and black pepper. Enticing, warm and round, bright acidity with soft, beguiling tannins balanced with great structure and persistence.

Image result for Tenuta Santa Maria Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Classico Superiore 2014

Tenuta Santa Maria Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Classico Superiore 2014   
Price: $36.00       Sale $31.68          Case $

THIS ELEGANT AND COMPLEX VALPOLICELLA continues the family tradition of the Ripasso method, used in the 1850s. The style is a consistent expression of the indigenous Corvina, Rondinella and Corvinone grapes and terroir of the area. The Ripasso method is delicately achieved conducting a secondary extended maceration and fermentation over the Amarone grape skins, giving the wine higher complexity, bolder and softer body, and intense color.  Reminiscent of the Amarone, the wine is a vivid ruby red color. 

Image result for Tenuta Santa Maria Amarone Classico della Valpolicella DOCG 2011

Tenuta Santa Maria Amarone Classico della Valpolicella DOCG 2011   
Price: $81.00       Sale $71.28          Case $827

THE AMARONE IS OBTAINED USING THE TRADITIONAL APPASSIMENTO METHOD, a natural drying process of Corvina, Rondinella and Corvinone grapes, and long barrel aging, giving it a unique and immediately recognizable taste. It represents the full expression of the Veronese tradition and the more than century-old family heritage. The wine has a ruby red color with garnet reflections. The impact of preserved cherry, spices, and dried rose petal lend complexity and elegance to the nose. To the palate, it has warmth and subtlety, well-structured and with a high alcohol content, balanced by velvety tannins and an elegant acidity and freshness.


Pasta Figole
Amarone Risotto with Roasted Bone Marrow and Aromatic Mirepoix
Cider Glazed Pork Belly with Sweet Cherry Coulis and Stilton Flan

The fee for this tasting is $65 + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or call 954-523-9463.


The Wines of Tenuta Santa Maria by the Bertani Family

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History and tradition have shaped our unique philosophy, one which is applied both to the viticulture practiced on our estates and to the creation of our finely-crafted wines. The vineyards are maintained with meticulous care, planted according to proven high-density methods. Characterized by elegance and balance, all our wines have great potential for aging and maturing in the bottle.

A tradition of innovation behind the Bertani family name lie centuries of winemaking expertise. When, at the start of the last half of the 1800s, brothers Gaetano and Giovanni Battista Bertani, pictured above, set out to establish a new benchmark for excellence in their craft, they were already building on a firmly established viticultural heritage. Official documents from as early as the mid-fifteen hundreds can attest to the family’s activity in the Valpolicella region. Combining their deep respect for tradition and love of the land with commercial savvy and innovative drive in both the areas of production and cultivation, the brothers Bertani built an enterprise unique to the Veneto of their epoch. With a forward-looking spirit, they introduced revolutionary vine growing techniques developed by agronomist Jules Guyot, techniques to which Gaetano Bertani had been exposed during his years of political exile in France for his active role in the Italian Unification Movement against the Austrian Empire.

An expression of the terroir and of a grand passion, centuries of expertise, deep ties to the land and its history, and a passion for innovation that sustains the family philosophy have all been translated into the creation of a series of world-class wines highly regarded for their personality and unique character. The names these wines have been given reflect an intimate association with the terroir and express a desire on the part of the family to contribute to the history of a region, of its people and places.

Combining traditional methods, advanced technology, and experience passed down through generations of family tradition, we produce wines that are the full expression of our land.



Valpolicella, according to some accounts, means “valley of many cellars,” which seems fitting.  It is derived, they say, from the Greek word poli (many) and the Latin cella (cellar).   This area is approximately 27 miles long and 5 miles wide, it passes north and west of Verona, extending from the Adige River to the Cazzano Valley.  Bardolino and Lake Garda lie to the west and Soave to the east.  The land ranges in altitude from 490 to 1,475 feet above sea level.  The vines in the classico district to the northwest of Verona, are planted on the hillsides and mountain slopes of the valleys of the Adige tributaries and the Fumane, Marano, and Negrar torrents.  Some of the vineyards are terraced with stone.  The cretaceous, calcareous soil is of glacial origins.  And volcanic activity in this area contributed elements to the soil as well.  

The area around Sant’Ambrogio is considered the heart of the Amarone production zone.  Within this area, northeast of Gargagnago, is a valley called Vaio Armaron, which may have given the wine its name.   The blend of grapes typically used in Valpolicella is Corvina (40%-70%), Rondinella (20%-40%), Molinara (5%-25%) and may contain up to 15% Negrara Trentina, Rossignola, Dindarella, Barbera, and/or Sangiovese.  Before 1989 producers were allowed to add as much as 15% of grapes, must, or wine from outside the zone to correct problems from a weak vintage, but this practice is prohibited today.  Corvina contributes color, body, bouquet, flavor, and the basic Valpolicella character to the wine.   Rondinella, which is resistant to disease and rot, is added for its color and strength, tannin and vigor, it also adds some refinement to the azromas.  Molinara, or Mulinara, is also known as Rossara Veronese and Rossanella, is blended in to make the wine lighter and more drinkable.  It also contributes dryness and acidity, as well as that characteristic bitterness.  Negrara, adds softness, freshness and early drinkability.

The first dry Amarone, according to writer Cesare Marchi, was the result of a fortunate accident.  In the early 1950s, Adelino Lucchese, Bertani’s cellarmaster, discovered a barrel of wine in the cellar that had been overlooked and neglected for some time.  Certain that it had spoiled he was about to discard its contents, when curiosity prompted him to take a taste just to see what had happened.  He was astonished to discover that the forgotten wine had a velvety texture and a penetrating perfume, a slightly bitter taste, but not at all unpleasant. 

There is however evidence that the Romans made a type of bitter Recioto for diabetics or other people who couldn’t take sugar.  Sandro Boscaini of Masi pointed out that some of the oldest families in Valpolicella, the Count Campostrini and Count Serego Alighieri, as well as his own produced an Amaro, a dry Recioto.  This would seem to indicate that Amarone is considerably older that Marchi admits.  According to another book called Valpolicella Spolendida Contea Dei Vino, written by Lamberto Paronetto, the name Amarone has been in use since the eighteenth century.  It became popular at the beginning of this century and the name could very well be derived from the Italian word amaro, meaning “bitter” (scholar Scipione Maffei, writing in the first half of the eighteenth century, refers to an amaro, a dry wine from the Valpolicella area), or it could come from Vajo Armaron, where some highly regarded Amarones have been produced for ages. 

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