Zenato Wines Wines
The influence of the wider winemaking regions around Verona have always been felt in Valpolicella, which itself has always exerted a powerful gravitational pull on its neighbours. Such is the case with Zenato winery, originally white wine trailblazers in the Lugana DOC to the south of lake Garda, who felt the irresistible tug of the red wine bastion to their northwest, and who have now established themselves firmly as masters in both areas and elsewhere.
It all began in 1960 with Sergio Zenato in San Benedetto di Lugana, a small village on the shores of the great lake.
Zenato was absolutely convinced that the local white grape variety, the unpromisingly named trebbiano di Lugana, was capable of so much more than it had hitherto been used for, and in the face of much opinion to the contrary began to experiment. He bought the vineyard of Santa Cristina, to this day their home estate, where the elegant, aromatic, refreshing and characterful wines began to help seriously change minds about the potential of the grape, and of the region. Given his passion for revivifying ancient regions with untapped possibility, it was perhaps inevitable that this most innovative of bianchisti would throw his hat into the vibrant and expanding world that was Valpolicella in the last 60 years or so, and to this day the calcareous, stony soils of the Costalunga estate near Sant’Ambrogio in Valpolicella Classica stands as the winery’s claim to renown as major rossisti.
These days the company’s ‘two faces’, as they put it, span some 95 hectares of land in Lugana and Valpolicella, with yet more growth and experimentation into Bolgheri in Tuscany taking place. Carla, wife of the late Sergio, along with children Alberto and Nadia, continue the family legacy in all of these areas, as well as hospitality and their own wine academy. This courageous, forward-thinking winery has been pleasing palates and altering perceptions for over 60 years now – and they’re just getting started.