Thanks to my good friend Giuseppe Cossu, I was able to taste the wines of a Veneto producer called Fattori in Los Angeles, with a treasure of a woman, the winery’s representative Giorgia Costa. This is a multi-generational farm and winery, led today by Antonio Fattori. The winery was built on the hard work and determination of Antonio’s grandfather (of course) also named, Antonio.
Antonio recounts that his grandfather was a “tireless and headstrong man ” who thankfully didn’t give up on his vineyards, even when he returned from WWI and found them all but destroyed by phylloxera. Antonio also remembers his grandfather as a wily old man who would take his wines down to the bars and osterie of Verona and Vicenza in barrels, pulling them with horse-drawn carts.
Today the Fattori Winery is producing world-class wines; although small in production, they are hugely passionate. Antonio Fattori reminds us that wine is fascinating because it is natural- a product of constantly changing external conditions. In his words, “No amount of experience is ever enough. The important thing is to search… with determination, humility and a little bit of patience.”
I loved the Fattori Sauvignon called “Vecchie Scuole”. It was fresh and bright with a lot of white jasmine and hints of anisette, wild mint and crushed sage.
The Fattori indigenous “blend” called “Roncha” was also beautiful- 50% Garganega (5% of which is dried for 5 to 6 months), 20% Pinot Grigio, 20% Trebbiano di Soave,10% anDurella. Very interesting notes of baked peaches, allspice, fresh nutmeg. I was really impressed by the weight of the wine- textured like a Reisling- mouth-coating and rich, but with enough acid to lift the wine and keep it from weighing down the palate. Delicious.
My favorite of the bunch was a traditional Soave called “Danieli”. This is just about as classic an example of Soave as you’ll ever find. Bright, playful, and squeaky-clean.
On the nose the wine has hallmark notes of peaches, pears, apricots. As you begin to really understand the aromatics though, you’ll notice intriguing little hints of vegetation- sage, bruised grass, and even fennel pollen. For those who think Soave is a simple wine, this is an example I would have you try
With the right terroir and attention in the vineyards, the most amazing things can happen in the bottle.