Italian white wine
Among Soave and Durello: the "Cantina" of Monteforte d'Alpone

Monteforte d'Alpone is a small town in the province of Verona, yet it's a record holder: it's the Italian town with the highest proportion of land used for vines. Besides this significant record, and the beauty of the landscapes of the Lessinian Dolomites, there is certainly another good reason to visit this place: you can buy the Soave Classico DOC at unbeatable prices, still keeping an excellent quality level, at the Cantina di Monteforte d'Alpone store..

Along with Soave, Monteforte is one of the two municipalities included in the area that the specification of Soave Doc identifies for the production of the "Classic". It's the official recognition that we are in a territory where the grape Garganega, benefiting from "volcanic" soils which is there covered with sedimentary layers, can achieve excellent results in terms of character or quality.
The Soave wine is mentioned among the best expressions of Italian "volcanic" wines, but the territory in which it is produced is not homogeneous, and if within the town of Soave there are many cru, enhanced by the wisdom of winegrowers, it is the hilly terrain of the slope surrounding the Valle d'Alpone that exalt the characteristics conferred by soils of volcanic origin, which usually equates to the concept of "minerality".
Monteforte, on the other hand, is less known compared to its neighbor Soave which indeed gives its name to the Soave wine.
The site is easily accessible being a few km from the A4 motorway (exit Soave), between Vicenza and Verona. A break at the Cantina di Monteforte is certainly recommended to those who want to bring home a few bottles of Soave Classico, one of the best white wines of Italy. You can also purchase some Valpolicella, from the nearby area, and Lessini Durello, the sparkling wine coming from the "native" grape of this region, produced in both Charmat and classic method. And again, the highest quality offered at very convenient prices.

The Cantina di Monteforte d'Alpone is a social cooperative whose 600 members, for about 1300 hectares of vineyards, have recently celebrated its 60th anniversary.
This is not an old looking facility as it has been almost completely renovated in recent times and equipped with modern technology covering each step of the production cycle, from the transfer of the grapes to bottling.
The production capacity is about 2.5 million bottles, of which 80% white wine. Garganega, the typical vine of the region, here used in purity, but also several other varieties, including Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Manzoni, Glera and the Durella.

Despite the growing notoriety of the Lessini Durello, it's the Soave Classico for which the winery seeks to be known in the world.
For the sake of synthesis I omit the details on the winemaking facilities that deserve to be further described. Only a small note on the ability to control the temperature of the must ready for decanting, a technology then applied in autonomous control to each tank in order to better manage the different types of wine.
Let's start the presentation with the most representative wine of the winery, the Soave DOC, the base product starting at less than 3 euros.

The Soave Classico proposal starts with CLIVUS. It obtained the recognition of sustainable winemaking from the Cantina di Monteforte, it's sold with a screw cap, ideal for preserving its freshness as it's a product that is better consumed during the year. Tasted in late November (in February the new vintage will be on the market) it still maintains a bright color and noticeable freshness.
Then it's the turn of VICARIO, Soave Classico DOC, a wine of greater complexity, with about six months in large wooden barrels for the refinement. A pleasant product, very balanced, persistent even in the aftertaste. It cost less than 5 Euros per bottle if purchased in the store.

The winery also produces a Soave Classico Superiore DOCG. It's obtained through a short permanence of the pressed in contact with the cold skins while 35% of the product is kept in barrels for about a year.
Among the classics of Soave you can't miss the Recioto di Soave Classico, a great sweet wine, produced with the traditional process of drying grapes in "fruttai" (dry and ventilated) until the new year when, after pressing, the must is fermented and aged in oak barrels where it remains for ten to twelve months, and then rests in the bottle for another 12 months.

In Monteforte, as I mentioned, the Lessini Durello Doc is also produced. It's a sparkling wine produced with Durella, an indigenous grape of Colli Lessini particularly suitable for sparkling wine because of its high acidity. The Cantina of Monteforte uses both the Charmat and the classic method - 36 months of contact with the yeast before disgorgement - this grape expresses the most interesting product, a classic method sparkling wine with a twist if compared to the most popular Franciacorta or Trento Doc (wines made from international varieties).
For visitors, especially if coming from outside the region, a bottle of Lessini Durello is really a must because it embodies a uniqueness, like the Garganega and Soave Classico, unfindable anywhere else.

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Contacts and hours of the store of the Cantina di Monteforte d'Alpone:
Phn. 045/6133604 - Fax 045/7613740

Hours: 8:30 / 12:30 to 14:30 / 18:30
Open Monday 'on Saturday
- Closed Monday 'morning

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