From 2011 to today, Nicola and Laura have bought new land in the area to bring a total of 7 hectares to production. All the cultivated lands are high hills, in order to guarantee extreme quality of the grapes. To have an excellent product you need a terroir suited to the wines, so with calcareous soil, a lot of minerality, with the vines that are able to penetrate the soil and find water even in depth. Among the higher vineyards there are even some bordering the woods.
Over the last 10 years Nicola has transformed the entire production in the Pergola cultivation system, everywhere. They also transformed the Gujot in Pergola. The Pergola protects the fruit like a roof, from sudden climate changes. Nicola's passion is to search for the ideal aging woods for each type of grape and wine to be obtained. We can say that a real tailor-made activity is carried out on the choice of woods. Very important, in the pergola cultivation, are also the bunches positioned in a vertical position, fundamental during the manual harvesting phase for the selections of the grapes before the drying process of the Amarone. When you are in the field the first selection is visual and the vertical position of the bunch makes it clear immediately if there are clusters ruined.
The flagship wine is undoubtedly Amarone, and to obtain it also needs a cold maceration and the most delicate extraction possible. The harvest takes place in the second week of September and then until January the drying process in closed and ventilated rooms. At the end of this process the grapes lose almost 50% of their weight. The land is mostly in organic and sustainable agriculture, working in the vineyard doing as few treatments as possible. For example, to avoid the attack of the cochineal parasite, they get rid of that spreading other insect antagonists of the cochineal itself in the vineyard.
The Azeinda Agricola Monte Santoccio started in Valpolicella in 2008 from the desire of Nicola and Laura to produce their own wine as a "real" winery after years of purely agricultural activities. In 1998 Nicola's father, who was a carpenter, when he retired he bought the 2 and a half hectares in Santoccio, in a small patch of land high in the hills with an ideal microclimate for cultivating vineyards. All the precious grapes of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Milnara were sold to the most famous wineries in the area. In 2001, Nicola also planted vineyards of Merlot Cabernet and Sangiovese. Nicola had the vision to understand and experience how international vines could come to Valpolicella as they did in Bolgheri.
From here comes the Santoccio Rosso, a “Bordeaux style" blend that combines native vines with international grapes. From 1998 until 2005, Nicola worked at Quintarelli, famous producer of Valpolicella, as a cellar manager, and in the meantime he graduated in Literature and Philosophy at the University of Verona. Nicola's father helped in the cultivation of the fields and in the care of the vineyards. It was Laura, Nicola's wife, who pushed to open a real cellar and produce their own wine. In 2011 there was the first official vintage with only 3000 bottles produced (2000 ripasso and 1000 Amarone), and only 40% of the wine produced was bottled.
As soon as I met Nicola and Laura it was love at first sight. A real family, engaged in viticulture in a very competitive area, with love and passion without overdoing it. Their welcome is spontaneous and genuine, the wines made to perfection, with the right selections of grapes and the appropriate woods.Monte Santoccio, as described by Carlo Ferrini