When your great-grandfather was the founder of one of Italy's most respected wineries, the pressure to sustain the family legacy can be overwhelming but Andrea Sartori approaches his destiny with admirable grace and aplomb. Founded in 1898 by Pietro Sartori, Sartori di Verona is one of the Veneto's "Big Five" wine producers and has grown tremendously under Andrea's leadership. His success has not gone unnoticed by his peers and Andrea served an unprecedented two terms as president of the Unione Italiana Vini -- Italy's principal wine producers' trade group.
After meeting with Andrea, I am convinced that his success as a wine producer is not only attributed to his business savvy and enological expertise, but also his insatiable curiosity for the world around him. A talented photographer and avid world traveler, Andrea displays a genuine reverence for tradition AND enthusiasm for innovation. Two of my favorite wines in the Sartori di Verona portfolio are modern expressions of Andrea's heartfelt connection to his elders: Ferdi and Regolo were named after his grandmother and grandfather.
Sartori di Verona Ferdi Bianco Veronese IGT ($17)
Lovingly named after his grandmother, Andrea daringly describes Ferdi as a "white Amarone." Whoa, white Amarone? If you're a fan of regal & rich red Amarone, you know that's pretty revolutionary! Made from 100% Garganega grapes, Ferdi utilizes the Amarone technique of drying the grapes before pressing (appassimento) to reduce water content and increase the sugar and color. What surprised me most about Ferdi is that although it displayed tremendous depth and complexity, it maintained freshness and vibrancy. Dry with lively acidity that keeps it from being cloying, Ferdi's tapestry of flavors include apricot, pear, and hazelnut. Ferdi is a pretty, but far from boring white wine with enough structure to pair with grilled seafood, aged cheeses, and pasta.
Sartori di Verona Regolo Rosso Veronese IGT ($23)
Named after Andrea's grandfather, Regolo is a friendly and flavorful wine produced from 100% Corvina - one of the key grapes in the Amarone blend. In fact, Regolo gets a complexity boost from time spent resting on Amarone pomace, which increases its aromatics and aging potential. Supple and velvety, Regolo is full-bodied but graceful with appealing cherry and red berry flavors. Pair this delightful dry wine with steak, lamb, and aged cheeses.
Sartori di Verona Corte Brá Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC ($58)
Ferdi and Regolo beautifully showcase how Amarone inspires Sartori di Varona, so it isn't a surprise that they produce a mighty fine Amarone. The grapes for this impressive vino are sourced from their Corte Brá vineyard in the northern hills of Verona. The grapes (Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, and Oseleta) are air-dried for 3 to 4 months and only the best are selected for fermentation. The wine is aged in oak casks for about 4 years, followed by at least 6 months of bottle aging. The end result is a rich and voluptuous wine with robust flavors of dried fruits, plum, figs, and ripe berries with a touch of herbs and balsamic. Power and grace co-exist beautifully in this bottle. Pair with roasts, steaks, chops, and aged cheeses.
Ready to take your palate on a sophisticated and exciting journey to Verona? Visit the Sartori di Verona website to browse their diverse & impressive portfolio of wines.