Italian road trip 2016: all good things come to end

We might be on our way to visit the last vineyard, but that doesn’t make it less worth it!! The last vineyard we would visit on white wine Saturday and even from our trip was Sandro de Bruno at the eastern side of Verona. As we arrived a bit early at our destination we decided to already check-in at our B&B (named La Dolce vita :-)) Once we arrived we also found out it was the perfect spot to stop after lunch and have a little siesta before visiting our last vineyard. I guess the picture below gives you an idea about oasis of piece we arrived at. Another great news fact, we still had some room left in the trunk of our car for more wine 🙂 🙂

Il paradiso

Not that we were stressed, but you would be surprised how tiring visiting and tasting can get. I can definitely recommend the B&B as they also have a very nice breakfast and very friendly hosts. The B&B was also only 1km away from the Sandro de Bruno vineyard, so we had all the time in the world as it would only take us a minute to get there for our visit.

Sandro de Bruno

The Sandro de Bruno winery saw the daylight in the year 2000, so you would think it is a young winery. It’s not! In reality the winery is already making wine  since 1930 or better current owner Sandro’s dad and his dad’s 2 brothers were making wine since 1930… Sandro changed the name of the winery  in the year 2000(when he took over and after buying the parts of his uncles) as a tribute to his dad into ‘Sandro de Bruno’ which comes from Sandro ‘son of’ Bruno… it is as simple as that 🙂

Sandro de Bruno produces different kinds of wine, but 2 of them are their trademark wines (I think that’s the best way to call them) : the Soave and the Durello. Let’s first start with the Durello (or Durella how the grape is actually called) a DOC wine, meaning the Durello can only come from a specific area in this case from the area between the provinces of Verona and Vicenza (DOCG would mean it would need to come from a specific town or more specified area and only from that place like chianti or Barolo, or Amarone, etc…). The Durello/Durella grape is a strong  autochthonic grape variety. Strong because it is said to be disease resistant and grows best on a soil composed of lime and clay of volcanic origin. Indeed volcanic origin… I was surprised to find out that the area we were at has a volcanic origin… I didn’t know the area used to be volcanic. Another remarkable characteristic of the grape is the thick and leathery skin (may be the reason for it name as ‘duro’ means hard in Italian). What I’ve learned from tasting other wines that come from volcanic areas is that they have lots of minerality in them. For the Durello this isn’t any different. Something fascinating is that there are around 500 growers growing the grape variety but only I0 of them actually bottle the wine of which Sandro de Bruno is 1. Because of its high level of acidity the grape is 99% used to make spumante wines.  At the nose you notice lots of white flowers and minerality. It combines nature and freshness and its character lends itself good to be paired with seafood I think 🙂 I’ll have it a try at home… according to Sandro it pairs great with codfish alla Vicentina.

Durello

At our visit we did see Sandro, but as he and his wife had to go to Genova it was Andrea (who was about our age) who showed us around the winery. At all vineyards we were received with open arms, at Sandro de Bruno it at some point felt like we were just having a drink with a friend at a bar or so 🙂 It felt so relaxed!!

Sandro de Bruno Sandro de Bruno 2 Sandro de Bruno 3 Sandro de Bruno4

Soave as I mentioned is their 2nd most important wine.  For me Soave has always been around, but never got the attention it deserved.  Soave was produced in a medium-bodied style that was often compared to Chardonnay, except with a distinct bitter almond note. In most cases people in that case chose a bottle of chardonnay over one of Soave  or at least this until the end of the 90’s as since the 21st century trends have been turning and now Soave is the new Pinot Grigio in the US 🙂 Basically a wine everybody wants to drink + it must be said that producers like Sandro de Bruno and others in the region have worked very hard to make the opinions turn!!  The main grape variety that has to be present in Soave wine is Garganega , but can be blend with Trebbiano di Soave and Chardonnay. The Garganega grape also lends itself well to produce sweet recioto (who knows maybe they could even make a White Amarone if they let it ferment more 🙂 ) wines that have the potential to improve with bottle age for a decade or more.  Garganega can make classic white wines, both complex and satisfying!  Sandro de Bruno has 2 kinds of Soave, a regular (DOC) and a superiore (DOCG). Although I like both, I have a slight preference for the superiore, maybe because it has been in wooden barrels and therefore has more body, whereas the DOC Soave only saw stainless steel thanks… Let me say it like this, the DOC would be perfect as apero in your garden, the DOCG Superiore is more appropriate with food. as it has a broader aroma and complexity (and again the nice minerality)… and is rounder (good with white meat).  It are definitely very good wines with a very good price/quality ratio!! Also the bottles I bought at the vineyard are already finished… so I guess I like them

Soave superiore

What I find amazing is that on every bottle of Sandro de Bruno, is that all info on the wine can be found on the back label. Info like best served with which dishes, the best temperature to serve it, which grapes used, etc… basically a simplified technical sheet :-).  Also every bottle is numbered, although I don’t remember why that was 😦 nevertheless the content in the bottle is nectar of the Gods!!

Thanks Andrea for the tour and Sandro for making such great wines!! Hope to see you soon. In case you would have questions regarding the wine, you can contact Sandro de Bruno or for Belgium you can check with Alex from The Vine.  Sad enough our trip ended after this visit…but they gave us a wonderful dinner advise that was maybe the best from our whole trip!! if you would ever be in the neighborhood do stop at il Convivio!!!! A true  hidden treasure!! I also know the bottle you see on the picture (and that we had) from during our meal isn’t one from Sandro de Bruno, but as we had already been tasting their wines whole afternoon I was also keen on finding out which other great wines they had in the area…

Il convivio

I can’t wait for the next wine trip with my buddy Carlos!! Always a pleasure to travel with him…. Although I’m now first travelling with my lovely wife and baby girl to Friuli!

2 thoughts on “Italian road trip 2016: all good things come to end

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