Cristiana Meggiolaro and her husband Riccardo are brand new to the scene in Soave, one of Italy’s finest white wine production zones. Frankly, they are a breath of fresh air to a region that has become more about quantity than quality. In fact, close to 80% of the wine from Soave is mass market, no character crap.
It was a breath of fresh air they sought when Cristiana and Riccardo forged a new path in life, moving away from the corporate world and back to Riccardo’s roots in the city of Ronca’. Soon his family’s garage become their teeny (and I mean teeny) wine cellar and their neighbors abandoned hectare of vine came under their control. They also planted an hectare of Garganega nine years back down the hill from the cellar. In 2011 they began production focusing on Gargenega (which is the principle grape in Soave) and a forgetten varietal called Durella with which they made a sparkling wine.
They are another case where they learned on the fly, possessing all the energy and enthusiasm possible but not tangible experience managing a vineyard. But like so many others they learned from their mistakes and frankly began making quality wine from their first vintage. Soave is truly a region where these ageworthy whites are subject to the given vintage and I’ve noticed that upon tasting with them. But with each vintage you can see the growth they’ve made as winemakers and the direction they aim to take their winery.
The winery has had their ups and downs with the Soave consorzio, who has no interest in helping the little guy, thus recently they have decided to label outside of the Soave designation. The dues paid to the consorzio proved to much, so if you see Gargenega on the label instead of Soave now you know why.
The Gargenega is planted at about 300 meters, just a few kilometers north of the town of Soave itself. This 1 hectare they planted is divided by the local road that leads up to their cellar. From one side to the other the terroir changes drastically from basalt rock and volcanic undertones to more of a heavy clay.
The Durella is a vineyard site with an incredible view over the Soave production zone. Here we climb closer to 500 meters and even the air is noticeable different from the Garganega. There is plenty of volcanic soil here to be had as well and a constant breeze that makes one dream of finding a hammock on a warm spring day.
Cristiana and Riccardo produce about 10,000 bottles amongst these two wines. I expect this to remain a microproduction but my hope is that they are a new wave who will help lead Soave to greener pastures, away from mass market and back to the niche, boutique wines that made this region so important historically.
Varietal : Garganega 100%
Varietal : Durello 100%
Visit Cristiana Meggiolaro’s Website
(It’s in English!)