Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

San Leonardo to make first foray into fizz

Published:  07 December, 2017

Historic Trentino estate San Leonardo has revealed it is moving into sparkling wine production in line with a trend for producers in the region replacing red grapes with varieties used for bubbles.

Making sparkling wine had been a family ambition for San Leonardo for many years, said owner Carlo Guerrieri Gonzaga, speaking at a landmark event at the Ten Trinity Square Private Club in London, adding the Trentino terroir was ideal for the production of “high quality sparkling wines”.

The proposed blend would be similar to Champagne and it was expected to be released over the next couple of years, he said.

According to his son, Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga, the estate will purchase grapes from trusted nearby growers, with the intention of crafting a “traditional-method sparkling that can compete with the best of Franciacorta, and indeed Champagne”.

The decision to make a foray into sparkling wine followed “many growers” in Trentino replacing their local red grapes such as Teroldego with varieties suitable for the production of fizz, he said, although he conceded that many producers were making charmat-style wines for early drinking.

“Increasingly, growers are realising that there is easy money to made from Prosecco imitations and I expect sparkling production to increase dramatically in Trentino over the next decade, although Trento DOC remains the bastion of quality,” he said.

Today Trentino DOC covers a multitude of wines, from light bodied, sweetish red Schiava to barrel-fermented Chardonnay.

According to Guerrieri Gonzaga, the estate will operate under the appellation framework in approximately two years, after many years of utilising the IGT Vigneti Delle Dolomiti and IGT Vallagarina dominations.

However, he added that the Trentino DOC was still “undervalued and underappreciated,” when compared to Italy's headline regions.

Overall, Trentino was still “the land of cooperatives,” he said.

“The quality is fine, but one rarely encounters a great wine. It's my dream that one day a greater number of producers will invest in this highly diverse, and remarkable terroir.”