Tenuta Di Corte Giacobbe
Feb 27, 2017
Tenuta Di Corte Giacobbe – A Producer True to its Roots
Small vs Big, Family Run vs Commercially Run
Soave Classico is characterized by a small area of hillside production; it is usually hand-harvested, low-yielding, family-owned and run, small production, and sometimes aged in oak. Soave Classico is surrounded by a large swath of flatlands for the production of Soave (without the word “Classico” on the bottle) which is often machine-harvested, higher yielding and owned by large cooperatives who practice larger production (sometimes millions of cases). Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Soave’s popularity grew in the United States. To keep up with demand, farmers increased vineyard planting into the flatlands, where traditionally winemaking took place as opposed to grape-growing. White wine was being produced from a lesser quality part of the region (the flatlands) and now much more Soave was made available in the market, causing a drop in prices. This gave the impression to some consumers that the wine was a low-cost and low-quality product. It seemed that the region that was once a producer of good quality white wine from family-run wineries with idyllic hillside vineyards was being overrun by larger commercial operations, who were happy to satisfy a market demand at any cost.
To quote a Soave producer we are all familiar with, Leonildo Pieropan, who runs the acclaimed Pieropan winery with his wife and two sons: “Soave totals 16,400 acres of vines, but only 1,200 acres are in the hands of small family wineries. The rest belongs to big interests and cooperatives. We (the family-run wineries) represent 7% of Soave production; they (the commercially run producers) represent 93%.”
So we can see that there has been a trend in the past to produce Soave on a large scale for commercial success, and there have been dramatically fewer small wineries whose goal it is to create a high quality wine – that kind of wine, when produced with care, has vibrantly fresh energetic quality that jumps right out of the bottle.
That Was Then, This Is Now
Whereas drinkers of Soave in the 1970s and 1980s may have a bad taste in their mouth and show less interest in rediscovering this fresh and versatile white, it would be contrary to what the oenophiles and wine lovers of the moment are experiencing. Today’s Soave comes to us in a number of styles. Smaller producers of Soave today are using modern winemaking to create pure and fresh expressions, as well as oak-aged Soaves that can be found on fancy tasting menus and pair well with shellfish, white meat, and Indian and Asian flavors.
Intrigue for Soave, and its Terroir
When we notice something special about a wine, there is a good chance that there is something special about the soils the vines are planted in. Wine expression truly is about place, soil and climate. Soave has a variety of soil types. Each part of the hill in Soave Classico has different soil and produces a Soave of a different style, with varying levels of acidity, concentration and aromatic intensity. We can find dark, volcanic earth, as well as red and yellow soils that add a dry sensation of minerality.
Tenuta Di Corte Giacobbe ~ A Soave Producer With Respect for Nature and Quality
Tenuta Di Corte Giacobbe is in the commune of Roncà, just a few kilometers from Soave, in the eastern part of the denomination. The medieval village of Soave represents the third main tourist destination in this area, after Verona and Lake Garda.
The Tenuta Di Corte Giacobbe vineyards are located just a few kilometers away from Soave, high on the slopes of the Lessini Mountains, about 1,345 feet above sea level. They are planted on the hillsides, giving the vines excellent exposure to sunlight, which allows the grapes to ripen perfectly. Also, the excellent day/night temperature swings further contribute to the wines’ structure and complexity.
There are two extinct volcanoes on the estate, Calvarina and Crocetta. The extraordinary Runcata Vineyard sits on the ridge that divides these two volcanoes and is planted on ancient stratovolcano. The mixture of hardened lava, tephra, pumice and volcanic ash enriches the black and gray tuff soil with minerals and beneficial elements that lend minerality and fragrance to the wine.
The vineyards are farmed in an uncompromisingly natural fashion, with absolutely no chemicals of any kind. Inspired by tenets of biodynamic farming, vineyard care comes with a sole purpose: transforming the magnificent, healthy grapes into wine in the least invasive manner possible.
Return to Quality – Soave for Today’s Oenophile
The wines of Tenuta Di Corte Giacobbe are a perfect example of what takes place in Soave today. Those that choose to remain family-owned have been working hard to stay true to their roots by working as naturally as possible in the vineyards, producing wine with respect to terroir, soil, microclimate and exposure and employing high quality practices in the winery.
Tenuta di Corte Giacobbe’s story began in 1934 when charismatic Augusto Dal Cero purchased his first three hectares. His sons Giuseppe and Dario took over the winery after their father passed away. It was obvious that they were up to the challenge when they grew the winery to the fifteen hectares it is now. Dario’s children have followed in their father’s footsteps and currently run the winery. To them, as it was for their grandfather Augusto back in the 1930s, it is about great respect for local traditions and a commitment to crafting wines that are the perfect expression of the local terroir.
Visit the Hills of Soave and Tenuta di Corte Giacobbe by Opening a Bottle
Tenuta di Corte Giacobbe Soave “Corte Giacobbe” DOC: 100% Garganega from vineyards located in the hills of Roncà, at the foot of the Lessini Mountains. The grapes are harvested by hand followed by 24 hours cold maceration and fermentation in stainless steel. The wine ages in stainless steel on the lees for three months followed by bottle aging. Bright straw yellow color with fruity, floral notes of white fruit and banana. On the palate, the wine is harmonious with superb persistence and a bitter almond finish.
Tenuta di Corte Giacobbe Soave Superiore “Runcata” DOCG: 100% Garganega from a vineyard located on a plateau 1,300 feet above sea level, between two volcanoes: Calvarina and Crocetta. The grapes are harvested by hand, and soft pressed using the “Inertys” process which protects must from oxidation. The wine is fermented and aged in 20-hl. barrels for one year before aging in the bottle for four months. Straw yellow color with golden-bright green hues. The intense nose has persistent notes of florals and dried fruit. The palate is warm with an excellent body. Intense and very persistent, this is a very structured wine.
With so many wines in our market, it isn’t always easy to know where to turn for wine that is true to its roots. It is good to know that through all the ups and downs experienced in the Northern Italian region of Soave, Tenuta di Corte Giacobbe did indeed stick to its roots.
Now wouldn’t you say that this is a romantic and truly Italian concept? It’s also a nice end to my little story, if I do say so myself.
Contributed by : Danielle McKee – Wine Warehouse Import Wine Specialist