female owned
About this winery
Quality can be a question of numbers too. Take the Savoia family, owners of the Coali estate in Sant'Ambrogio, in the heart of Valpolicella country. Nine hectares of marl- chalk soil vineyards on a southern-facing hillside. But only 20% of the grapes they produce, the best, are used to make their own wines, with a yearly total of just 30k bottles, their Valpolicella Classico DOC, Superiore DOC, Ripasso DOC and Recioto DOCG.
Only in a particularly good year do they venture to make some Amarone DOCG (and a tiny number of bottles of Riserva), and one year in five a Rosso Veronese IGT, the acme of creativity. They also manage some white, a Passito IGT, and naturally some Amarone grappa. “We only grow native local grapes, like Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Molinara” explains Marina Savoia, the mainstay of the estate together with her cousin Silvia who is an oenologist. “We have three separate stages in which we select our grapes. First during harvesting, which of course we do completely by hand, then before they are set to dry and lastly after the “appassimento”: the drying process. But the very first step is out there on the hillside, quality comes from carefully tended vinejards. And our family are all mad about the land and farming, starting from my father Giuseppe, the founder of the estate and the winery together with my uncle Antonio”. Farmers and winemakers who are proud of their origins with deeply-rooted ties of affection to this wonderful corner of Italy. Even the names of their wines are inspired by local history and local life, their Ripasso “Carlin” or their Superiore “Pipioni”, named in bonour of friends and local families, or their Passito “Don Angelo”, dedicated to the priest of the parish of Sant'Ambrogio who apparently one Christmas Eve demonstrated all too well how much he appreciated this sweet- tasting nectar.
We discover another of the secrets of the wines from the Savoia estate in their cellars, where the barrels of wine mature in naturally controlled conditions of temperature and humidity. Here the thick walls built in Napoleonic times do their work well.
And we're back to crunching the numbers, as Marina explains. “In these big barrels of 1000 or 2000 liter our wines mature for longer than the times prescribed by their respective regulations. Three years instead of one for our Valpolicella Classico Superiore, and five years instead of three for our Amarone. This softens our wines making them more rounded, more feminine. Which is why we don't use barriques. And the Slavonian oak, the casks are made from, is vital.
Smooth wines with a rounded taste produced from land which also yields marble: the magic of the Savoia family.

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