Monthly Archives: April 2016

Not so RIESsearchING at Venissa!

Hi wine friends,

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Today for my last “not so RIESsearchING” for now!
This one took place at Venissa on Mazzorbo, Venezia!

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The morning of the visit, I departed from Verona quite early.
The winery sent me an email after I departed to come and meet them later on the day. I never received it… So, I arrived too early.
Only this was no problem, they invited me in, in their Osteria Contemporanea and gave me a glass of very nice Prosecco.
Which made the waiting very pleasant. The man who showed me around the winery, named Marco apologized like a 100 times he let me waiting. This was not necessary at all! But very polite.

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We began the tour outside. They own a big vegetable garden, where the vegetables are grown for the 2 star restaurant and the Osteria. The garden is maintained by local retired people.

 

 

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The vineyard is only 0,8 Ha, with 4000 vines present. This is the Dorona Veniziana.
Translated means Gold of Venice. The vineyard and garden are Biodanamicly sustained. Dorona is an ancient species which was almost disappeared.

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Nowadays this is almost the only vineyard on Venice, but centuries ago, there were a lot more! Like the San Marco square was one big vineyard long ago.

On Burano you even have a street called Via Della Vigna, the street of the vine.

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Also in their garden they have 2 ponds, they look very dirty, but these are also Biodynamically and this is a breeding place for the native fish “Ghiozzi”.
They assist the re-introduction of these fish in the Laguna by these ponds!

 

After the outside tour, we went inside for an introduction movie.

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The bottles also tell a story:
The glass bottles are hand made by Moretti glass work on the island of Murano.
On this glass bottle a foil of gold is attached. This gold is made by the Battiloro family in Venice who makes gold foils for centuries. They likewise made the gold that you can see on the Lion and the wings of the angels on the Basilica of San Marco.
After the gold is attached they go back to Moretti for a last bake in their ovens.
Each bottle is numbered in 2011 there were 3911 half liter bottles made, 188 Magnums, 88 Jeroboams and 36 Imperials.

 

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Then there followed a tasting of the 2012 vintage.
The wine is gold in color, it has great structure almost like a red wine. Which is not weird because the wine has skin maceration for up to 12 weeks. Also peach and honey flavors can be detected. The wine has a velvet full body, it’s dry and a savory almost salty. It has a long and rich finish.
The salty taste can be because the vineyard floods 6 times a year with the salt water from the Laguna. After the flood they need to rinse the soil with sweet water for 3 day’s to get the salt water out of the soil. Because vines do not live of salt water!
That’s why they have an irrigation system in the vineyard.

 

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While I was tasting the wine, Marco opened the doors of the room, I sat in and there was a nice view of the Laguna. And he said: this is our terroir.

 

 

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Venissa also makes a Rosso of Merlot and Carmenére grown on another island of Venice: Torcello not far from Burano.
This bottle is hand made by the same company, but there is not a sheet of gold but copper on the bottle.
I did not taste this one.

 

 

At the end, I got an empty bottle of the Venissa 2012! Which proudly stands in my living now!

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This visit was a great experience! If you go to Venice, you should go visit Venissa!
The visit cost 25€, but it’s so worth it!

I thank Marco at Venissa for the wonderful winery tour!

And thanks to everyone for the great hospitality during my visit in Italy!

See you the next real RIESsearchING again! Riesling here we come again!

Not so RIESsearchING at Sandro De Bruno

Hi Riesling fans,

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There came some sad Riesling news last week from the Hugel Famille in Riquewihr, Alsace.                         On 9 April 2016 Etienne Hugel past away at the age of 57.
He was in charge of promoting the Hugel wines abroad.
The passing of a great Riesling man, hits the wine world hard.
RIESsearchING’s heart is with the family in these times!

 

 

 

Now for “not so RIESsearchING” at Sandro de Bruno!

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I stayed at Musella, so I had to drive 20 minutes to Pergola (Verona) near Soave.
Once I came into the neighborhood of the winery it was clear the area was called Pergola. Because all vines I saw were trained in Pergola style.

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I arrived at the quite new winery, and the scene was breathtaking!

Cherry blossoms were blooming, the sun was shining. It was just so right.
And quite new because there first bottled vintage was 2007. And next year is the 10th anniversary of the winery.

 

Alessandra gave me a tour of the winery. She was very welcoming from the very start. Which was very nice.

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We started outside where she pointed out where the vineyards where on the volcanic mountain of Soave.
Also closer by on the plain area they own some vineyards of Durella.

 

 

This is a grape variety that only grows here in this particular area.
The grape is generally used for sparkling wines, because of the great structure and amazing high acidity. So perfect for a sparking base wine.
But Sandro (the owner and winemaker) did make a still wine from this grape.
It is something quite different, it had quite a deep color, very mineral from the soil of course. You had lemon and fresh, crisp apple some pineapple, some yeasty notes and a strong medium finish.

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On the principal floor, they have their stainless steel tanks where all grape most is received in and the white wine stays. They red wine and sparkling wine go to the cellar.

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In the cellar, they have this idyllic tasting room with fireplace. Where they organize food and wine pairings with their own wines.
Behind a glass wall in the tasting room you have the oak casks, where the red wine ages.
In the rear of the barrel chamber, they created a sparkling room!
A room built out of bottles of sparkling wine laying sur lat, waiting for remuage.
It’s such a nice sight!

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They work with nature in mind. They only spray chemicals hen needed and they only add the minimum required sulfur dioxide to their wines.
They also don’t filter the hell out of the wines. They’re all wines with amazing texture.

Later, I tasted the Soave Superiore 2013, the Durello still wine 2008, the Pinot Noir 2010 and the Cabernet Sauvignon 2008.

I highly recommend these wines. They are different but really nice!
The Pinot Noir was exquisite! Because it is grown on the volcanic soil of Soave, it delivers a delicate mineral and smoke touch on the palate. Which is not expected, but so wonderful! It has quite high tannin, but they’re integrated with the fresh red fruits and smokey flavors. The wine has quite a long finish as well.

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And the name Sandro de Bruno. I thought de Bruno is Sandro his last name.
This is not…
Sandro’s last name is Tasoniero.
Bruno is the name of his father, who passed away when Sandro was very young.
It was Sandro’s dream of starting a winery in honor of his father.
That’s why Sandro de Bruno! It’s like Sandro son of Bruno!
This makes me even respect the wines more, there is a whole story about the winery! It’s not exactly an “Oh, let’s just start another winery” story!
That’s what I love about this place.

Azienda Agricola Sandro de Bruno has a particular place in my hart!
It’s a beautiful company, with beautiful wines and beautiful people!
Thank you so much for the great experience! Sandro de Bruno!
More info:
www.sandrodebruno.it

And I’ll see you guy’s the next “not so RIESsearchING” for my last winery visit in Venice!

Not so RIESsearchING at Musella

Hi you wine freaks,

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This time, not so RIESsearchING because:

I travelled back to Italy for holiday and could of course not resist going on a winery visit.
I was in the wrong neighborhood for Riesling.
But I went to some very impressive wineries!

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I stayed in a bed and breakfast of a winery close to Verona.
Called Musella.
It’s a beautiful domain 400 years ago, it was a farm and where the winery is now, was the horse stable.
You can still envision it a little. The winery works totally biodynamic. They do not utilize any chemicals, not even sulfur dioxide to preserve the wine.

Because the winery is a protected building there is nothing permanently build, all vats and bottling equipment is on wheels so it is movable.
They have some stainless steel tanks for the rose and white wines and concrete for the red wines. Concrete is a better isolater and keeps the temperature stable for up to a week without temperature control.

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All red wines are matured in French oak barrels, all half toasted.
They also execute an experiment in granite and marble containers.
I’m rather curious how that will turn out. They perform this experiment because the vines are grown on soils that contain marble and granite.

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They also have 2 concrete eggs, these are exclusively used when there is a problem with the wine. After 2 weeks the wine can go back in a new vat and it is cured of whatever the problem was.
There’s an air bubble in the egg that keeps on moving and so the wine keeps moving.

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In the winery they also keep bio cow manure to fertilize the vineyards.
The odd thing is it does not smell as cow phoo to me. It did not hold a scent.

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Outside you have the stalk remover and 4 hugh stainless steel tanks. These are the temperature controlled presses. They press very slowly and soft so you don’t squeeze the hell out of them.

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So their red wines have very mild, delicate tannin, they are present, but are very soft and integrated in the wine in the wine I tasted was a Valpollicella Superiore DOCG from 2014 with so much taste but so delicate almost like a Pinot noir!

So they make a range from a delicate white, rose, Valpolicella to Amarone. But all with the Bio lable.

 

 

As well, I went to Sandro de Bruno a winery 30 minutes drive from Musella near the village of Soave.

And I got to the only winery that’s left on the islands of Venice,                                                                                  Venissa located on Marzobbo Island. Next to Burano.

Also the weather in Northern Italy was wonderfully 20°C very sunny and a nice breeze.

For more info about Musella: http://www.musella.it/it/

The other wineries are for the next RIESsearchING!
See you guys then!