Love for the territory of Marano and passion for winemaking of Chiara Turati and Federico Pellizzari that generated Terre di Leone in the 1990s. Federico is originally from Marano who is deeply rooted to the territory since birth, while Chiara, who arrived in Valpolicella at a later time, fell in love with the hills of Valpolicella. Being fascinated by the tales about Leone, Federico’s grandfather, the couple chose to name their winery in his honor. Both revolutionized their lives and decided to live in the area in 1996.
“We wanted to follow a very precise style of quality, both in the countryside and in the cellar, respecting the tradition in the production of wines and managing the technology to accompany the wine on its journey, because it comes from the earth,” says Federico.“You have to think about how it will be, already when it is harvested. We were born with a passion for this land, respect for historical tradition and the desire to be part of something bigger, to be able to speak in our own way about this valley.”
The 7-hectare property of Terre di Leone divided between Marano di Valpolicella and Fumane extends over the hills of Valpolicella which is within the boundaries of the production zone of Valpolicella Classico DOC. The vineyards are located at about 420 meters above sea level, with southwest and southeast exposure on soils with a prevalent composition of basaltic tuff of volcanic origin, terraced with dry stone walls.
Their philosophy is denoted in the meticulous care given to the vineyards. The vines are trained with the guyot system, an innovative training system for Valpolicella. The planting density is very dense (about 7,000 plants per hectare), which enables the limitation of the yields to enhance the best productive expression. Particular attention is paid right from the start to local grape varieties such as Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara and Oseleta. The grapes are carefully harvested and selected by hand which is carried out in October. From there follows the very important drying phase in the modern drying rooms located in the highest part of the cellar where the typical environmental conditions of the Valpolicella Classica winters are recreated. The grapes destined for the production of Amarone rest for up to 120 days, from the end of October to the beginning of March, following the system that grandfather Leone used to do.
“Each of our wines is for us the interpretation not only of a harvest and a vintage, but of something greater, of the territory of Marano di Valpolicella,” says Federico. Today Terre di Leone produces about 45,000 bottles, divided into two lines: Terre di Leone and Il Re Pazzo with Italy as the main market.
In the 25th of November, Chiara came down to Rome to give a tasting of five of their wines at Ristorante Dal Toscano which were paired with the Tuscan dishes of the restaurant: a platter of local ham, crostino with liver patè, fagioli all’uccelletto, pici with white ragù of cinta cenese, saltimbocca alla Romana and lastly, a platter of aged cheese.
Il Re Pazzo Valpolicella Classico DOC 2019
Produced from 40% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 25% Rondinella, 10% Molinara and 5% Oseleta grape varieties that were harvested late by hand, cultivated in vineyards located at Marano di Valpolicella and Fumane, both within the Valpolicella Classic DOC zones, at about 420 meters asl of predominantly basaltic tuff composition of volcanic origin and terraced with dry stone walls. The grapes go through fermentation in stainless steel at controlled temperature. Aging takes place in stainless steel for 6 months and another 6 months in the bottle. In the glass, it gives an intense crystal-clear ruby red color with fresh fruity and floral aromas of cherries, blackberries, plums, violet and a slight hint of pink peppercorns. In the mouth, it shows off dynamic varietal characteristics and an underlined freshness, fine-grained tannins as it ends with a long finish.
Terre di Leone Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC 2016
Produced from 40% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 25% Rondinella, 10% Molinara and 5% Oseleta grape varieties that were harvested late by hand in 5-kilogram trays cultivated at Marano di Valpolicella and Fumane. After the harvest, light drying took place in the drying room. The grapes are de-stemmed, not pressed, then processed by gravity. Fermentation in stainless steel at controlled temperature as aging takes place in French oak tonneau for about 30 months then in the bottle for another 12 months. Deep ruby red in color with a pronounced intensity and complexity in the nose of preserved red berries, prunes, raisins, dried roses, forest underbrush and a hint of eucalyptus. It is rich in the mouth with flavors corresponding with the nose, persistent ending with fine-grained tannins.
Dedicatum Veneto IGT Rosso 2016
Produced from 14 blends comprising of the varieties of Valpolicella cultivated at Marano di Valpolicella and Fumane. The grapes were harvested late and done by hand with subsequent drying on 5 kilogram trays in the drying room for 15 days. The grapes are de-stemmed, not pressed then processed by gravity. Fermentation in stainless steel at controlled temperature as aging takes place in French oak tonneau of 5 hectoliters and 10 hectoliter French oak barrels for 40 months then in the bottle for another 8 months. A deep ruby red wine with a dried floral nose of roses and violets, balsamic notes, sweet aromatic herbs and ripe red cherries. The mouth is rich and very pleasant with a marked acidity, with a notes of sapidity and balsamic, fine-grained tannins and a long finish. A glass can lead to more for its harmonious quality and beautiful personality.
Terre di Leone Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2012
Produced from 40% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella and 10% Oseleta cultivated from the vineyards at Marano di Valpolicella and Fumane. The grapes were harvested late and done by hand with subsequent drying on 5 kilogram trays in the drying room for 112 days. The grapes are de-stemmed, not pressed then processed by gravity. Fermentation in stainless steel at controlled temperature. Aging takes place in 25-hectoliter French oak barrels for about 96 months and subsequently in the bottle. A profusion of intense aromas in the nose with eucalyptus, cedar, dried tea leaves, prunes and dark fruit preserves, forest undergrowth and herbs. An unexpected pronounced freshness in the mouth, after 9 years in aging, with a lingering savory taste, with perceptible flavors given by the nose. Full body with a persistence in the end.
Terre di Leone Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG 2011
Produced from 40% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella and 10% Oseleta cultivated from the vineyards at Marano di Valpolicella and Fumane. The same process of harvest, drying and vinification of the Classico except that the drying is slightly shorter at 110 days. Aging takes place in 10-hectoliter and 25-hectoliter French oak barrels for about 80 months then in the bottle for 12 months. The Riserva is only released in the vintages that are considered the best and while the Riserva is made, the Classico is not released. Deep ruby red in color with an intense nose of ample aromas of dark fruits in preserve, dried floral notes, mature cherries, forest undergrowth and balsamic notes. The palate reflects a good imprint of a well-made wine, freshness at 10 years is a pleasure to have in the mouth, velvety tannins and persistent ending. A refined wine with excellent harmony.