Posted 3 years ago by Briana Lucas
We are excited this week to bring you the wines of Corte Gardoni! Great values, great labels….
The Piccoli family has owned vineyards in the Veneto since the year 1600. Many generations tended the vines, but after phylloxera hit, the ravaged family estate couldn’t support all five brothers, and one of them left to become a fruit grower. Two generations later Gianni Piccoli grew up surrounded by orchards, but he had wine in his blood so when an estate with extensive vineyards came up for sale in 1971 he jumped at the opportunity. For several years the grapes of Corte Gardoni were sold to local cooperatives, but Gianni felt that their wines lacked the soul and individual attention necessary to produce an honest, natural product. In 1980 he definitively broke those ties and for the first time crafted his own wine, focusing on the inherent character of the grapes and the terroir.
Today Gianni is a well-known and highly respected figure in the region as well as a fierce leader in the fight against the homogenization of the local wine scene. While local cooperatives push for laws that would force producers to plant only French grapes like Chardonnay and Merlot, the place of honor at Corte Gardoni is reserved for local varietals such as Garganega, Corvina, Rondinella, and others.
The Piccolis’ vineyards occupy 25 hectares, while the rest of the property encompasses orchards, forests, olive trees, and arable land, from which the family also produces fruit, olive oil, and the first balsamic-style vinegar to be made from apples. Gianni still keeps a close eye on every step of production, but he has turned over most of the daily work to his three sons: Mattia, the winemaker; Stefano, who manages the vineyards; and Andrea, who helps both of his brothers and also handles the commercialization of the wines. The majority of their production goes to the versatile and irresistibly delicious Bardolino “Le Fontane,” Bardolino Chiaretto (rosé), and Bianco di Custoza, while the more sophisticated Bardolino Superiore “Pràdicà,” Custoza “Mael,” and Becco Rosso demonstrate nuance and incredible longevity. At dinners with clients they regularly uncork bottles from re-nowned names like Armand Rousseau and Sassicaia, then they sit back and grin as their guests discover how well the older vintages of their own wines show in comparison.
Gardoni Custoza Bianco 2014
40% Garganega, 20% Trebbiano, 10% Trebbianello, 30% local vine
Dry, cool, harmonic and balanced.
Tropical fruit aromas rounding off the fresh bouquet. Try it as an easy-drinking aperitivo or with your favorite fish dish.
Gardoni Bardolino Chiaretto 2014
50% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 25% Molinara, Barbera, and Sangiovese
Dry, cool, great equilibrium.
Chiaretto, the local name for Bardolino rosé, is a lovely creation—so fresh and clean with flavors of red cherry, strawberry and rose hips and a whisper of mineral saltiness.
Gardoni Bardolino “Le Fontane” 2014
60% Corvina, 30% Rondinella, 10% local vine
Dry, light, excellent table wine.
Bardolino is a must-know red, and so useful, especially the Piccoli family’s wonderfully perfect rendition. Light yet smoky and flavorful, this is one of our all-time favorites for the value, pleasure, and versatility.
Gardoni Bardolino Superiore “Pradica” 2012
65% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 10% Sangiovese
Dry and elegant. Ruby red.
This pretty, aromatic dry red is among our favorites for its pure deliciousness factor coupled with its versatility and amazing value.
Gardoni Becco Rosso 2013
Dry, fresh. Wine with strong character.
Corvina produced in this style gives a very light, playful wine. With a gorgeous perfume, intriguing flavor, and a texture of silk, Becco Rosso is a beautiful testament to this great grape.