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Rational, modern management of vineyards and their soil has proven to be an excellent means of safeguarding the environment.
One reason Tenute Salvaterra is integrating its vineyard management is to enhance quality, but principally it is to ensure greater eco-compatibility and economic sustainability.
Assessing a vineyard and then applying integrated management are labour-intensive and complex operations that comprise a wide range of action geared towards reducing the impact of grape-growing on the soil, local population, air and water.
Integrated management involves the responsible use of key farming practices, such as irrigation and pesticides. However, regardless of whether producers use green manure, living mulch or slash pesticide use, what matters is that major progress has been made in recent years and awareness has been raised that pesticides have great potential, but need to be used responsibly.
Tenute Salvaterra has always done its utmost to ensure that its grapes are grown with a respectful use of resources.
Consequently, we see soil as a unique and unfortunately finite asset, and we recognise that it is the key to a magical, extraordinary product: wine.
The values behind our work philosophy—respect, love, patience, flair and passion—provide a solid foundation for our mission, which is to safeguard soil, the origin of our wine.
The main objective of Tenute Salvaterra is to strike a balance between work and life, as it is this very balance that governs the natural environment where our wine begins.
In Veneto, wine is spoken of as an absolute concept, as it encapsulates values and tradition, habit and innovation, conviviality and respect, resemblance and difference.
As you journey from Verona to Padua, via Vicenza, and then head to Treviso and Venice, the countryside is covered with vineyards that stretch towards the horizon, giving the impression that Veneto is one large vineyard. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Valpolicella, Amarone, Rosso Veneto, Cabernet, Recioto, Pinot, Raboso and Tocai are just some of Veneto’s wide variety of successful wines.
Though short, this list illustrates that the hallmark of this rich and varied region is its diversity.
Veneto is often associated solely with Amarone and its many prestigious variations, but this would not do the region justice.
Its characteristic terroirs have left their mark on an extremely long list of wines.
Minerals, body, intense aromatic bouquet and grape-growing tradition are as prominent in the region’s most illustrious wines as they are in its lesser-known small-scale varieties.
Terroir is thus an essential feature of Veneto winemaking, as it is for a host of other regions as well.
Terroir is often erroneously associated solely with soil composition, with the unbreakable bond between vine and soil.
The term, however, comprises all of the hidden intrinsic characteristics that can only be perceived on the palate, as well as production methods and grape-growing techniques.
Terroir is everything that enables a wine-lover to taste a region and its traditions.
It is what imprints wine with its own distinctive identity, which is highly sought both on the label and on the palate.
A wine should reflect ourselves, and we need to recognise the origins and hallmarks that entice us to buy it.
Terroir is also the relationship between producer and vine: the job and passion of everyone at Tenute Salvaterra.
September, October and November are important months in the life of both vineyards and wine. September sees the start of the harvest and leaf-fall stages, during which the vines start to replenish their reserves. Then, in December, the vines begin to fall dormant until the bud-breaking stage in spring.
Not all producers, however, start harvesting their grapes at the same time, and this is even true for vineyards in the same area! Harvesting is governed by a range of factors, including ripeness, exposure, weather, region, and much more. This is why the harvesting stage may run from September to November.
November is an extremely delicate month because the arrival of cold weather puts vine health at risk. One such risk is “leaf-drop”, a disease that attacks the foliage and causes premature defoliation.
Nevertheless, it is the perfect time to visit wineries. Producers have just finished harvesting their crop, and while they, too, are recuperating their strength, they can devote their time to welcoming visitors, giving vineyard tours, and recounting their winery’s history.
November also sees the publication of various wine-rankings and the awarding of scores and acknowledgements, just as the post-summer market gets underway.
Both wine and wineries are bubbling with activity!
Tenuta di Cazzano di Tramigna is the only Salvaterra estate with pergola-trained vineyards. This system involves growing grapes on a framework of pillars atop of which sit horizontal or diagonal crossbeams that create a sort of roof. The vines are pruned with a special technique to ensure optimum production. The pergolas, to which the vines are tied, are perfect for steeply sloping terrains and enable maximum exploitation of their exposure to sunlight.
Pergola-training is perfect for this estate, as it perches on a hillside ranging from 300 to 400 metres above sea level. Although this type of vineyard dates back to ancient times, when production is limited, it produces superior quality grapes that make thick, elegant wines.
Its grapes are used to produce Amarone, Ripasso, Valpolicella, and Lazzarone.
The village of Cazzano di Tramigna is home to just 1,500 people, but despite its size it contains a number of important monuments, some even dating back to the 12th century. Wine-lovers visiting the area should take a leisurely stroll around the village and then drop by our eponymous estate to see its stunning pergola vineyards.
Tenuta di Mezzane sits on a hilltop, affording visitors breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery. The estate’s lowest vineyards stand at 350 metres above sea level, but the highest perch as high as 450 metres, making them some of the most spectacular locations in Valpolicella.
The particular terrain and high altitude mean that producers have to select the grapevines they plant very carefully. The lowest and steepest vineyards are planted with the thick-skinned Rondinella grape; the middle ground is used for Merlot; and the highest and sunniest slopes are planted with Corvina.
This estate’s soil is a blend of terra rossa and clear fine-grained limestone, which produces grapes that make structured, concentrated, elegant wines.
The grapes from the Tenuta di Mezzane vineyards are used to craft Salvaterra’s Amarone, Ripasso Superiore, Valpolicella, and Lazzarone.
Another hallmark of this area is its wide variety of wildlife, with boar and deer being just two of the animals that roam freely across these hills. Once again, wine embodies a seamless blend of land, life and human passion.
Villa Giona lies in Cengia, at the heart of Valpolicella, and is one of the Veneto’s regions most breathtaking 16th-century villas. It is a must-go destination for any wine-lovers visiting the area. Visitors can stroll around the villa’s gardens and lake surrounded by hedges and ornamental plants in a setting that combines beauty with nobility.
The vineyards surrounding Villa Giona stretch as far as the premises of Tenute Salvaterra, a winery with its own showroom, tasting room and characteristic ageing-cellar. The winery and the villa stand a short distance apart and are linked by a path leading through the vineyards. From here, visitors can marvel at the cypress trees that dominate the landscape in scenes of incomparable natural beauty.
Villa Giona stands 80 metres above sea level, and its vineyards are planted with a density of 9,600 vines per hectare. This tight spacing makes the vines incredibly hardy, as they are forced to fight for their ration of the soil’s nutrients. Consequently, the vines do not grow very tall and bear fewer grapes, but the wine they produce has extremely distinctive body and structure.
Corvina, Corvinone and Oseleta are the main varieties grown here, and they are used to craft Salvaterra’s Amarone Classico, Ripasso Classico Superiore and Valpolicella Classico.
Villa Giona is unquestionably a must-visit destination for anyone wishing to find out more about Tenute Salvaterra and discover the history and values behind our winery.
Fortunately, Villa Giona is also a hotel, which means visitors can spend a few days here and take a leisurely tour of Valpolicella and the other Tenute Salvaterra estates.
Tenuta di Prun
“True connoisseurs do not drink wine, but taste secrets.” – Salvador Dalì
What did the great artist mean when he spoke of the art of being passionate about drinking fine wine? His words could be interpreted in various ways and, in each one, Dalì implies that wine can sate both palate and mind, being the gateway to a world in which taste is merely one part.
Wine is not only a drink; it is history, passion, work and terroir.
We’d like to dwell on terroir as we tell you about “Tenuta di Prun”, one of the eight estates owned by the SalvaTerra winery.
Prun is a small village in the north of the Valpolicella Classica region. Despite its size, Prun enjoys a certain renown as it is home to quarries from which a special pinkish stone is extracted. Named after the local area, “Prun stone” has been used to construct an array of buildings, including the Verona Arena.
Prun is also the setting for the magnificent Villa SalvaTerra and its stunning vineyard, which has been restored to its original beauty. It is one of the Valpolicella region’s highest vineyards, standing at more than 500 metres above sea level. Its location adds an extra touch of charm, as the vineyard affords visitors breathtaking views across the entire valley.
Prun’s marl soil is covered by topsoil that retains water all year round. Its water reserves, however, are never excessive, making it ideal terrain for growing grapevines, which perform to the peak of their potential when conditions are not entirely perfect. The vineyards planted in this soil bear grapes that are used to craft the SalvaTerra winery’s Amarone Classico Riserva Cave di Prun, Amarone Classico, Ripasso Classico Superiore, Valpolicella Classico, and Lazzarone.
Prun, however, is by no means just superior grape-growing country; its vineyards stretch across the entire hillside and surround Villa Salvaterra, creating scenes of unparalleled natural beauty worth a visit in their own right.
The main varieties grown here are Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella.
“Winery at Night” is a photographic project conceived by Tenute Salvaterra revealing the beauty of the Valpolicella territory under a new perspective. A collection of images taken by artist Betta Gancia in the ancient courtyard of Villa Giona, an ancient house from the late 16th century, home of the cellar, and shows an image of nature unknown to us, portrayed in the dark of night. From the absolute black of the night, the artist plays with the weak natural light of the moon, so details, shapes and secret colors are emerging, ones that the actual light of day would not unveil.
The images will be published gradually over a period of 16 weeks, creating an online photography exhibition on social channels and Tenute SalvaTerra blog. An exhibition that exceeds physical boundaries and reaches wine enthusiasts, photography and nature lovers.
In the dark the photographer can find something alive, a glow, lines and colors that define a hope of life and warmth. The nature in the hills of Valpolicella and in its wineries, where our wines are born, is revealed in all its fullness and intensity.
Today we reveal the first two images that opens this photographic journey.