Wines of Verona
Cantina Fratelli Zeni's Classic Veronese wines.
Wine and its production are inextricably linked to the history and culture of Veneto, so much so that in medieval times the wines of "Venegia" were already famous far beyond Italy, transported throughout the Old World via the vast commercial network developed by the Republic of the Serenissima.
The great grapes of Garda
The most productive province was that of Verona and even today it is in the hillside surrounding Lake Garda that some of the world's most famous wines are produced, such as the Amarone and Recioto of Vapolicella, both of which are made using the indigenous Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella grapes.
Produced with grapes which are left to raisin for three to four months so as to maximize the concentration of sugar and aroma, the Amarone wine is aged in oak casks for 2 to 4 years. The result is a vibrant red wine laced with spicy aromas and the scents of red fruits
The Recioto is a pleasantly sweet and velvety dessert wine with intense floral and fruity notes. Another noteworthy wine is the Valpolicella Ripasso, obtained by mixing Valpolicella wine with unpressed Amarone skins.
The verdant valleys of Valpolicella
The zone of Valpolicella is located in the hills to the North of Verona and is traversed by three torrents which flow from the Lessini Mountains towards Adige, creating three parallel valleys.
Bardolino is the area between the River Adige and the shores of Lake Garda. Here the olive trees vie with the vineyards to get the lion's share of a landscape dotted with splendid Venetian villas.
The other three wine producing areas in the hills surrounding Lake Garda, are Soave, east of Verona, Custoza, to the South of the lake, and Lugana, home to the beautiful towns of Desenzano, Sirmione and Pescheria del Garda.
Keeping it in the family
For five generations the Zeni family has been producing Classic Veronese wines.
In the early 1800's Bartoleomeo Zeni, a carter with a vocation for painting, began trading the wine he regularly transported to the towns overlooking Lake Garda. His son, Gaetano, took what was soon to become a family passion one step further and became a professional wine broker.
In 1870, his children decided to extend the business to include winemaking, acquiring a small vineyard on the outskirts of the old town of Bardolino.
Today, the Zeno family owns vineyards in all five of Verona's principal wine producing territories, the diverse microclimate and terroir of each resulting in the distinctive taste and aroma of the wines made
The company's stunning 1200sqm underground barrique cellar, its entrance decorated with elaborate trompe l'oeil and frescoes, testifies to the extreme importance given to the aging and bottling of the wines.
Zeni Wine Museum
Within the walls of the companies historic wine cellars, the Zeni Wine Museum, provides a fascinating insight into the cultivation of the vines, the grape harvest, the transformation of the grapes into wine and the various bottling techniques.
The family's desire to promote an informed wine culture has led to the creation of a Vinoteca, in which tastings of the wines produced by the company, from the red Valpolicella, Bardolino, Amarone, Recioto and Ripasso, to the white Bianco di Custoza, Soave and Lugana, are held.
The Bardolino Chiaretto, an intense and fruity rosè obtained from hand selected Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes, marcerated for 12-36 hours, deserves a special mention.
Cantina Fratelli Zeni
via Costabella, 9
Tel: +39 045 721 00 22
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