A modern icon, nobody sums up the dichotomy of history and modernity quite like Bertani. At once funky and fruit-forward, smooth and structured, quirky and quintessential, these winemakers may be an institution in the region but they remain, nonetheless, a productively disruptive one. Since their inception in the mid-19th century they’ve been at the forefront of viticulture in Valpolicella, and have now expanded throughout the region and into neighbouring Soave.
It all began in 1857, when two brothers in Quinto di Valpantena, Gaetano and Giovan Battista Bertani, decided to establish their own independent winery in the village. Gaetano in particular had winemaking pedigree, having traveled to France to study with the celebrated viticulturist Jules Guyot, whose work had a huge influence on the young winemaker. Bertani wines were already recognised by authorities by 1870 for their quality and modernity, and they received endorsement from both the Italian and British royal families in the 1920s and 30s.
These days, a typical Bertani reflects a commitment to precise winemaking but without too much intervention. Their emphasis on unusual and cutting edge techniques, from the Novarè method to the use of a monoclone of corvina, nonetheless is all geared towards trying to make the wine shine on its own terms, without synthetic yeasts or excessive use of oak. In this way, Bertani’s wines are renowned for their purity of fruit and bright freshness, as well as relatively moderate alcohol and harmonious balance.