The Tedeschi Family’s 400 Years of Winemaking in Valpolicella, Italy

Riccardo, Sabrina and Antonietta Tedeschi, fifth generation of the Tedeschi Family, together with their father Lorenzo, have been keeping the family tradition of winemaking in Valpolicella for 400 years. It was in 1630 when their ancestors first purchased vines and two centuries later, in 1824, the company which bears the family name today was established by Nicolò Tedeschi. Indeed, they are one of the historical families of Italy that represents the excellence of Valpolicella and they continue to do so with their undying passion for what they do, belief in the considerable potential of wine production and deep respect for the land that they cultivate.

“We are convinced that each of our wines has to be born out of our territory and history. The authentic character of our wines is the result of 400 years of great passion and in-depth research,says Lorenzo Tedeschi.

There has always been a strong belief in the considerable capacity of its production of wine using innovative techniques in the cellar and underlining the distinctive characteristics of the terroir. Consequently, the wines they produce depict great personality that have power, elegance and typicity. The Tedeschi estate is situated in the village of Pedemonte di Valpolicella in northern Italy wherein they cultivate 31 hectares with vines out of 84 hectares.“The Tedeschi Family has always sought to produce terroir wines, i.e. wines that are only produced with grapes from the hills,” says Sabrina Tedeschi. The production range of Tedeschi includes the entire panorama of the appellation of Valpolicella: Valpolicella, Valpolicella Classico Superiore, Ripasso, Amarone and Recioto. These wines enhance the value of the native grapes that primarily comprise them which are Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella. Some of the lesser known varieties like Oseleta, Rossignola, Dindarella, Negrara and Forselina play the role of completing their composition. Taking up the position of oenologist is Riccardo Tedeschi, a role he commits with patience and passion and according to him they have discovered the characteristics of all their vines to which they now have the knowledge of managing them. Apart from understanding their vines, they have also undertaken a pioneering study of recognizing the composition of the soil in the vineyards as a major factor that influence the aromas of the wines. According to Antonietta Tedeschi, “Quality wine is made in the vineyard. The vineyard is the prime reference for wine growers. They have to take care of it, follow its rhythm, protect it and respect it.”

The chance of getting to know Tedeschi wines arrived in my glass during a scheduled virtual tasting conducted by Sabrina Tedeschi. The pandemic has posed as a hindrance for a face-to-face tasting, so an online meeting was the only way to manage it. As she recounts everything about the estate, the wines and their history, I was not only getting acquainted with the aromatic and flavor structure of the wines but also receiving a full picture of the specialness the wines. I didn’t just have any wine on my table. I had a 400-year history of a family’s extreme devotion to finding the right method, research, work and passion sitting in front of me.

The three wines in the tasting were:

Maternigo Valpolicella Superiore DOC 2016
The big patch of land where the Martinego vineyards are located was bought by Tedeschi in 2006. It sits on a level of 300 to 400 meters asl and has different sun exposures. One of the crus in this area is the Impervio which is characterized by the presence of white and yellow calcareous marl, particularly suitable for the production of fresh and balanced Valpolicella. The blending varieties of Martinego are: 40% Corvina, 40% Corvinone and 20% Rondinella. The harvest was late, leaving the grapes to over-ripen in the vines. After the 20-day fermentation and maceration, the wine matured in large Slavonian oak barrels for 14 months then another 6 months in the bottle before its release. It has an intense ruby color with a fruit-forward and spicy nose with notes of dark stone fruits and minerals. It has rich mouthfeel with pronounced stone fruits, delicate toasted and spicy notes, a lingering acidity, a balanced structure and persistent finish.

Marne 180 Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2016
Marne 180 stands for marl, the type of soil on which the vineyards are planted and the 180-degree sun exposure they get. The grapes from the 20-year old vines used in this wine are harvested from various vineyards in the hills of Valpolicella. It is important to understand that the diversity of the origin of the different grape varieties yield a well balanced wine with a good structure. The red clay and presence of skeleton in the calcareous soil provide elements of complexity, intensity in the aromas and minerality. This Amarone is composed of 35% Corvina, 35% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella and 10% Rossignola, Oseleta, Negrera and Dindarella. The grapes were harvested late then left to dry in the humidity-controlled loft for 4 months. After the soft-pressing, there was a 40 to 60-day fermentation and maceration. The maturation of the wine was in large Slavonian oak barrels for 30 months and 6 more months in the bottle. It has a deep ruby red color with hints of garnet. The complex aromas have the dominance of sweet mature stone fruits and berries with hints of dry spices and dried tobacco leaves while on the palate it is rich, round, well-balanced and closes with a long finish. It is a harmonious wine that can keep for a long time and it expresses well the classic characteristics of Amarone.

Capitel Monte Olmi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG 2013
It was in 1960 when Lorenzo Tedeschi started a bold and fundamental move that created this emblematic wine of the family. He started to vinify the grapes from Monte Olmi vineyard separately from the others and in doing so, he established the first single-vineyard wine in Valpolicella which in turn became the symbol of the estate. Located in Pedemonte, in the heart of Valpolicella, the vineyard faces southwest and has an elevation of 130 meters asl sitting on steep terraces which ensures the loss of water in the event of abundant rainfall. The red clay and calcareous soil assures complexity and intensity in the aromas. The varieties composing this Amaone are 30% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 30% Rondinella and 10% Oseleta, Negrara, Dindarella, Croatina and Forselina. The grapes were harvested late then left to dry in the humidity-controlled loft for 4 months. After the soft-pressing, there was a 40 to 60-day fermentation and maceration. The maturation of the wine was in large Slavonian oak barrels for 4 years and 12 more months in the bottle. It has a dense ruby red color with hints of garnet. The nose has a complexity of aromas with pronounced sweet mature stone fruits like black cherries and plums, red currants, spices, dried flowers, dried tobacco leaves and menthol. The mouth has a richness of mature flavors with good acidity, full-bodied structure, elegance and closes with a long finish. It’s an excellent harmonious wine that gives an indulgence of the prominence of the flagship wine of the Tedeschi Family.

Tedeschi Wines
Via Giuseppe Verdi, 4A
37029 Pedemonte di Valpolicella (VR), Italy
Tel: +39 045 7701487
Email: info@tedeschiwines.com
Website: https://www.tedeschiwines.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TedeschiWines