Monte Santoccio Wines
The beautiful hill of Monte Santoccio in Fumane, in the heart of Valpolicella Classica, is home to a boutique winery of particularly strong pedigree, and a winemaker with a genuine ethos. Nicola Ferrari is considered one of the stars of the region, a protegé of the legendary Giuseppe Quintarelli, with whom he started working from the age of just 26, and whose influence is detectable in much of what Ferrari does. He is no clone, however – most noticeably, where Quintarelli’s wines are renowned for their cult-wine superprices, Ferrari believes deeply in providing great wine at value for money, a belief he follows through on to a quite astonishing degree.
Proud microproducers of ‘slow wine’, the winery, run by Ferrari with his wife Laura, makes wine from only the grapes farmed from its own small but exceptionally high-quality vineyards (only 3 hectares’ worth), virtually all of which are given over to growing the indigenous varieties of corvina, molinara, rondinella and corvinone, which Ferrari values particularly highly. The wines produced are strikingly individual, known stylistically for their bursting-yet-balanced fruit and tense, tingling acidity, which lend themselves to ageing and to versatility in food pairings.
A dream producer for anyone looking for a taste of the true craft and artisanal tradition of Valpolicella but without breaking the bank, Monte Santoccio’s small production and huge soul should lift the spirits of any wine lover. As Ferrari himself put it in an interview in 2012, ‘Wealth is determined not by how much money you have but by how you manage your time…one of my goals is to offer my clients traditional wines at reasonable prices.’ It is a goal he most certainly achieves.