Friday, January 23, 2015

Kiedrich: Visit of the Basilica of Saint Valentine and of Weingut Robert Weil - Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Picture: Weingut Robert Weil, with the Basilica of Saint Valentin in Kiedrich in the Back, Rheingau

The Rheingau part of the Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014) began with a visit of 2 “holy” places – the Basilica of Saint Valentine and Weingut Robert Weil in Kiedrich.

Weingut Robert Weil is without any doubt the Rheingau’s flagship winery. It is currently managed and co-owned by Wilhelm Weil. We were hosted by Wilhelm Weil’s personal assistant, Jan Christensen. The visit included a cellar tour, a look at the vineyards and a tasting in the garden of Weingut Robert Weil

Pictures: Wilhelm Weil with Jan Christensen, Martina Weil, Christian G.E. Schiller and Annette Schiller

Basilica of Saint Valentine in Kiedrich

A very special treat was the visit of the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Kiedrich. Kiedrich is a 1000 year old wine-growing community and famous for its completely preserved Gothic architecture. The organ in the Saint Valentine church dates from the late Gothic period and is the oldest playable organ in Germany. Since 1330, every Sunday at High Mass a boys and men choir (recently girls have been allowed to join) sings liturgial Latin plainsongs (Gregorian chants) in a special dialect only preserved here.

Pictures: Visit of the Basilica of Saint Valentine

Weingut Robert Weil

Founded in 1875, Weingut Robert Weil in Kiedrich is the Rheingau’s #1 estate and one of Germany’s best. Four generations and over a century ago Dr. Robert Weil, who was a Professor of German at the Sorbonne, was forced to leave Paris because of the Franco-Prussian War (1870/1871). He subsequently joined his brother August in Kiedrich in the Rheingau and established the Robert Weil winery.

Pictures: Welcome Sekt with Jan Christensen in the Weingut Robert Weil Vinothek

Dr. Robert Weil purchased his first vineyards in Kiedrich and moved there in 1875, when he bought the estate manor from the heirs of Sir John Sutton, an English baronet. A man of vision, he built up the estate by purchasing 2 local wine estates and the vineyards of Count von Fürstenberg. Contacts throughout the world and the production of great wines brought rapid growth to the Weingut Robert Weil.

Pictures: Cellar Tour

Today, Weingut Robert Weil is managed by Wilhelm Weil, who owns the winery jointly with Suntory from Japan. With 75 hectares under vine, it is one of the largest estates in the Rheingau. The historical manor house, the ultra-modern cellars and the vinothek stand side by side in a beautiful park – the same synthesis of old and new that is reflected in the estate’s philosophy of winemaking.

In 1988, the estate was sold by Robert Weil to the Japanese beverage group Suntory, and his son Wilhelm appointed as estate director.

The vineyards are planted 100% with Riesling. The estate’s dedication to Riesling since 1875 has led numerous observers of the international wine world to regard Weingut Robert Weil as a worldwide symbol of German Riesling culture. A Riesling wine of the 1893 vintage, grown on the Gräfenberg site, made the estate famous. The imperial Habsburg court in Vienna purchased 800 bottles of this wine at a price of 16 gold Marks per bottle in 1900. The 1920 vintage of the Kiedricher Gräfenberg Trockenbeerenauslese is described as a Zeppelin wine, as it was served on board the LZ 127 „Graf Zeppelin” dirigible on its circumnavigation of the world in 1929. Robert Weil’s top botrytis wines are sold today at extremely high prices - they are among the most expensive in the world. The current world record (in 2006) is held by a 1999 Weil Trockenbeerenauslese, at DM 5.000 (EUR 2500).

Pictures: Looking at the Vineyards

Weingut Robert Weil’s top vineyards all belong to the group of the highlying sites of the Rheingau: Kiedricher Klosterberg, Kiedricher Turmberg and Kiedricher Gräfenberg. Inclination (up to 60 %), exposure (southwest) and the ability of the barren stony soils to absorb heat are the factors that make for three perfect Riesling sites. These conditions, as well as ideal circulation, enable the grapes to remain on the vine for a long time, ripening well into November.

Pictures: Tasting

What Jan Poured

2011 Robert Weil Rheingau Riesling Sekt Brut
2013 Weingut Robert Weil Rheingau Riesling Trocken VDP.Gutswein
2013 Kiedricher Riesling Trocken VDP.Ortswein
2013 Kiedricher Klosterberg Riesling Trocken VDP.ErsteLage
2013 Kiedricher Turmberg Riesling Trocken VDP.ErsteLage
2013 Kiedricher Gräfenberg Riesling Trocken VDP.GrosseLage
2013 Kiedricher Turmberg Riesling Spätlese VDP.ErsteLage
2006 Kiedricher Turmberg Riesling Spätlese VDP.ErsteLage


schiller-wine: Related Postings

4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux

Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

Weingut Pawis (Saale Unstrut): Estate Tour and Wine Tasting with Kerstin Pawis – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Weingut Kloster Pforta: Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting with Managing Director Christian Kloss – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Winzerhof Gussek in the Saale Unstrut Region: Cellar Tour, Vineyard Tour and Tasting with Owner and Winemaker André Gussek – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Tour and Tasting at the Historic Weingut Juliusspital in Würzburg, Franken – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Weingut Bickel-Stumpf in Franken: Vineyard Walk and Wine Tasting with Reimund Stumpf, Matthias Stumpf and Melanie Stumpf-Kröger - Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

schiller-wine: Related Postings (Weingut Robert Weil)

Christian G.E. Schiller's Review of the Book: Ralf Frenzel (ed.) - Riesling, Robert Weil. Tre Torri, Wiesbaden, Germany, 2013, in: Journal of Wine Economics, Volume 9, 2014, No. 1, Cambridge University Press

Deputy Managing Director Jochen Becker-Köhn and Export Director Nicolas Pfaff of Weingut Robert Weil in Singapore

Weingut Robert Weil, Kiedrich, Rheingau, Germany: Super Sommerfest/Summer Party 2014

Weingut Robert Weil Goes Facebook, Germany

German Riesling and International Grape Varieties – Top Wine Makers Wilhelm Weil and Markus Schneider at Kai Buhrfeindt’s Grand Cru in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Visiting Wilhelm Weil at his Weingut Robert Weil in Kiedrich, Germany

Tasting with Wilhelm Weil the 2010 Weingut Weil Wines in Kiedrich, Germany

The German Winemakers at the 4th Riesling Rendezvous in Seattle, USA

The 2nd International Riesling Symposium in the Rheingau, Germany

Steffen Christmann (Weingut A. Christmann) and Wilhelm Weil (Weingut Robert Weil) Presented the New Wine Classification of the VDP, Germany

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Italy’s Top Wines and Winemakers - Gambero Rosso’s Vini d’Italia 2015

Pictures: Annette Schiller, Ombiasy PR and WineTours, and Pio Boffa, Pio Cesare, in Philadelphia

See also:
4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux
Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014
Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014
German Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasy, 2013

See also:
The Wines of Pio Cesare with Owner Cesare Benvenuto and the Food of Patrick Bazin at Bazin’s on Church in Northern Virginia, Italy/USA
Pio Boffa and the Wines of Pio Cesare, Piedmont, Italy

The best Italian wine guide is Gambero Rosso’s Vini d’Italia. Italy’s top winemakers and the top wines are awarded glasses, from 1 glass to 3 glasses - Tre Bicchieri.

Picture: Gambero Rosso’s Vini d’Italia 2015

This is the 28th edition of Vini d’Italia, which was first published in late 1987 in newsletter format with reviews of a limited number of wines. It has grown in size and coverage each year since then. The 2015 edition contains reviews of about 25,000 wines from approximately 2,400 wineries. It is 984 pages long and sells for 30 Euros. Gambero Rosso also publishes German, Chinese, English and Japanese translations of the Vini d’Italia.

See here for previous years:
Italy’s Top Wines and Winemakers - Gambero Rosso’s Vini d’Italia 2014
Italy’s Top Wines and Wine Makers – The 2013 Gambero Rosso Vini d’Italia
Italy’s Top Wines and Wine Makers – The 2012 Gambero Rosso Vini d’Italia
Italy's Top Wines - 2011 Gambero Rosso's Vini d'Italia Wine Guide

Italian Wine

Italy is home of some of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. Etruscans and Greek settlers produced wine in the country long before the Romans started developing their own vineyards. Two thousand years later, Italy is world leader in wine, accounting for about 20% of world wine production. Italians also lead the world in wine consumption by volume, 59 liters per capita, compared with 8 liters per capita in the US. Wine is grown in almost every region of the country.

Wine Regions

There is wine everywhere in Italy, from the Alps in the North to Sicilia in the South, clustered into 20 wine regions, which correspond to the 20 administrative regions. The about 30 DOCG wines are located in 13 different administrative regions but most of them are concentrated in Piedmont and Tuscany.

Picture: The Wine Regions of Italy (Source: Corkbuzz)

The Piedmont area of northwestern Italy is further divided into the two popular regions of Barbaresco and Barolo. The predominant grape there is the Nebbiolo. Northeastern Italy has the Veneto area. Soave and Valpolicella are two important regions that produce many local varieties. The large area in central Italy is Tuscany and is known for Chianti and Chianti Classico. The Sangiovese is the predominant red grape in Tuscany. In Italy’s South are Puglia and the island of Sicily. The Negroamaro grape is widely grown in this area.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Barone Francesco Ricasoli in Gaiole at Castello di Brolio

See also:
Visiting Barone Francesco Ricasoli and his Castello di Brolio in Chianti Classico, Italy

Italy’s Grape Varieties

There are several hundreds of indigenous grape varieties in Italy. The following is a list of the most common and important ones.

Rosso

Sangiovese - Italy's claim to fame, the pride of Tuscany. It produces Chianti, Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile de Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino.

Nebbiolo - The most noble of Italy's varietals. Nebbiolo is difficult to master, but produces the renowned Barolo and Barbaresco.

Montepulciano - The grape of this name is not to be confused with the Tuscan town of Montepulciano; it is most widely planted on the opposite coast in Abruzzo. Its wines develop silky plum-like fruit, friendly acidity, and light tannin.

Barbera - The most widely grown red wine grape of Piedmont and Southern Lombardy, most famously around the towns of Asti and Alba, and Pavia. Barbera wines were once considered as the lighter versions of Barolos. But this has changed. They are now sometimes aged in French barrique, intended for the international market.

Corvina - Along with the varietals Rondinella and Molinara, this is the principal grape which makes the famous wines of the Veneto: Valpolicella and Amarone.

Nero d'Avola - Nearly unheard of in the international market until recent years, this native varietal of Sicily is gaining attention for its plummy fruit and sweet tannins. The quality of Nero d'Avola has surged in recent years.

Dolcetto - A grape that grows alongside Barbera and Nebbiolo in Piedmont; a wine for everyday drinking.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Marco Pallanti, Owner/Winemaker at Castello di Ama, Chianti Classico in Italy

See also:
Extraordinary Art and Wines at Castello di Ama in Chianti Classico, Italy

Bianco

Trebbiano - Behind Cataratto (which is made for industrial jug wine), this is the most widely planted white varietal in Italy. It is grown throughout the country, with a special focus on the wines from Abruzzo and from Lazio, including Frascati. Mostly easy drinking wines.

Moscato - Grown mainly in Piedmont, it is mainly used in the slightly-sparkling (frizzante), semi-sweet Moscato d'Asti.

Pinot Grigio - A hugely successful commercial grape, known as Pinot Gris in France and Grauburgunder in Germany. Produces crisp and clean wines. Typically mass-produced wine in Italy.

Arneis - A crisp and floral varietal from Piedmont, which has been grown there since the 15th century.

Garganega - The main grape varietal for wines labeled Soave, this is a crisp, dry white wine from the Veneto wine region.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Giovanni Folonari from Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari Tenute

See also:
Kobrand’s Impressive Tour d'Italia 2011 in Washington DC, USA

The 2015 Gambero Rosso Tre Bichieri Wines

423 wines got the top award of Tre Bichieri in the Gambero Rosso’s Vini d’Italia 2015. This compares with 415 wines in the 2014 Guide, 399 in the 2013 Guide and 375 wines in the 2012 Guide.

As in past years, there are considerable regional disparities in the distribution of award recipients. The top four regions (Piedmont, Tuscany, Veneto and Alto Adige) account for a combined 212 awards, or slightly more than half the total number.

Wines from the Piedmont received the largest number of awards (79), with Barolo and Barbaresco wines dominating the list. As usual, the producers listed read like a who’s-who of Italian wines – Gaja, Vietti, Giacosa, Conterno, and Grasso, to name a few.

The second-highest number of award-winning wines were from Tuscany. 72 wines from Tuscany received Tre Bicchieri awards. 15 Brunello di Montalcino wines received Tre Bicchieri awards, the same number as in the previous year. The majority of award-winning Brunello wines are from the stellar 2007 vintage. Numerous Super-Tuscan wines received Tre Bicchieri awards, the majority of which are from the 2010 vintage.

The 2015 Gambero Rosso Vini d’Italia Awards

Red Wine of the Year: Barolo Villero Ris. ’07 – Vietti

White Wine of the Year: Trebbiano d’Abruzzo V. Di Capestrano ’12 – Valle Reale

Sparkling wine of the year: Brut Cl. Nature – Monsupello

Sweet wine of the year: Vin Santo of Carmignano Ris. ’07 – Tenuta di Capezzana

Winery of the Year: Tenuta Sette Ponti

Best Value for Money Wine of the Year: Custoza Sup. Ca’ del Magro ’12 – Monte del Frà

Vinegrower of the Year: Giuseppe Gabbas

Up and Coming Winery of the Year: Tiare – Roberto Snidarcig

Award for Sustainable Vitculture and Winemaking: Barone Pizzini

 schiller-wine: Related Postings

The Wines of the 2010 Giro d'Italia

Italian Natural Wines

The Ultra-premium Querciabella Wines and a Taste of Tuscany at Open Kitchen in Virginia, with Querciabella’s Giorgio Fragiacomo

Meeting Winemaker and Owner Massimo “Max” di Lenardo from Friuli, Italy and Tasting His di Lenardo Vineyards Wines

Kobrand’s Impressive Tour d'Italia 2011 in Washington DC, USA

Blogging, Wining and Dining at the European Wine Bloggers Conference (#EWBC) October 2011 in Brescia, Italy – A Tour D’ Horizont

Wining and Blogging in the Soave Region, Italy

Wining, Dining and Blogging in Chianti Classico (#EWBC), Tuscany, Italy

Dining and Wining where the Royals Eat: Dario Cecchini’s Solo Cicca Restaurant in Panzano – the Butcher of Chianti Classico

Meeting Wine Maker Paolo Cianferoni at his Caparsa Estate in Chianti Classico, Italy

Wining and Dining at Badia a Coltibuono in Tuscany with Wine Makers and Owners Roberto and Emanuela Stucchi Prinetti, Italy

Extraordinary Art and Wines at Castello di Ama in Chianti Classico, Italy

Tasting Wines where Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was Born – With Wine Maker and General Manager Francesco Nardi at Vignamaggio Estate in Chianti Classico, Italy

The Up and Coming Premium Sparklers of Franciacorta (#EWBC), Italy

The Premium Sparklers of il Mosnel, Franciacorta, Italy 

Visiting Barone Francesco Ricasoli and his Castello di Brolio in Chianti Classico, Italy

Pio Boffa and the Wines of Pio Cesare, Piedmont, Italy

The Wines of Pio Cesare with Owner Cesare Benvenuto and the Food of Patrick Bazin at Bazin’s on Church in Northern Virginia, Italy/USA

The 1 Star Michelin Food of Chef Stefano Cerveni from the due colombe Ristorante and the Premium Sparklers of il Mosnel, Franciacorta - Wining and Dining at il Mosnel, Italy  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Weingut Franz Keller in Oberbergen, Kaiserstuhl, Baden: Cellar Tour and Tasting with Fritz Keller – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Picture: Annette Schiller and Fritz Keller

During the Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014), we had two long luncheons at 1 star Michelin restaurants: at Röttele's Restaurant im Schloss Neuweier in Neuweier and at the legendary Restaurant Schwarzer Adler of Fritz Keller in Oberbergen. As to the former, I have already reported about the spectacular luncheon cum winetasting here:

Before the luncheon at Restaurant Schwarzer Adler in Oberbergen, we joined Fritz Keller at his new winery, where he showed us around and treated us to a tasting that included 10 wines, compared with the 4 wines that had been planned. This posting focuses on Weingut Franz Keller and the tasting with Fritz Keller. A posting covering the luncheon at Restaurant Schwarzer Adler will follow.

Picture: Lunch at Restaurant Schwarzer Adler, with Bettina Keller

Fritz Keller showed us his new winery and then led a tasting of his wines. Following the tasting, he took us to the Restaurant Schwarzer Adler, where we also met his wife Bettina Keller and had a fabulous luncheon.

Picture: The New Winery of Weingut Franz Keller Winery

See also:
4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux
Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014
Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014
German Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasy, 2013 

The Fritz Keller Empire

The founder of the Keller Empire is the late Franz Keller. Franz Keller (1927 – 2007) probably was Germany’s most important early proponent of fully-fermented, dry wines and the use of barriques. He had 2 sons. One of them – Franz Keller - was initially the Chef of Restaurant Schwarzer Adler, but eventually moved to Hattenheim in the Rheingau, where he is the owner and chef at the Adlerwirtschaft. The other one – Fritz Keller – took over from his father in the 1980s and expanded the empire further.

Pictures: Fritz Keller Welcoming us

Today, the Keller empire comprises a luxury hotel (Hotel Schwarzer Adler in Oberbergen), 3 restaurants (the Michelin starred Schwarzer Adler, the more basic Rebstock, just across the street, and the KellerWirtschaft, which is part of the new winery), a fine wine trading company, focusing on Bordeaux and Bourgogne, Weingut Franz Keller (recently joined the VDP, the association of about 200 elite winemakers in Germany) and the Edition Fritz Keller project, a very successful trademark wine project with the discount chain Aldi.

Fritz Keller, in addition to his activity as winemaker, wine trader and restaurateur, is also president of the German football club SC Freiburg.

Picture: Winery Tour - Bumping into Friedrich Keller, the Next Generation

Weingut Franz Keller

With the Keller family everything started with producing and offering outstanding food. Franz and his wife Irma were among the first generation of chefs to start the German revolution in the kitchen more than 50 years ago. In 1969 Franz and Irma Keller and their restaurant Schwarze Adler were awarded one Michelin star. For Franz Keller, the central idea of winemaking was to produce top quality wines that perfectly accompanied the creations in the kitchen. The current generation, Fritz and Bettina Keller have brought the winery to a new level. They just finished construction of a brand new winery that is an architectural landmark, beautifully integrated in the landscape. Their efforts to produce top wines, among them stunning Pinot Noirs, were acknowledged by their selection as new member of the VDP in 2013.

Pictures: Fritz Keller Explaining the Vineyards

Fritz Keller: Initially, everything revolved around gastronomy for the Kellers. To make wines that partner food perfectly has thus always been central to their winemaking. In vineyard and winery, just as in the kitchens of the restaurants, the greatest attention is paid to the raw materials. Only grapes of a select quality – this is our conviction – can go on to develop their own character which speaks of the terroir and the estate.

Trading in Fine Wine

Fritz Keller: Trading in fine wines has been a tradition of more than 100 years in the Keller family. To this day, the focus is on the great wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy: a unique portfolio unequalled in quality and breadth encompassing wines from the most prestigious vineyards and chateaux, completed by selected wines from other European and New World regions.

Pictures: In the Cellar

Edition Fritz Keller

Edition Fritz Keller is a highly successful collaboration of Fritz Keller with Aldi, Germany's legendary discount food retailer. Under the brand name Edition Fritz Keller, he initially (in 2007) produced a Pinot Noir and a Pinot Blanc from Baden, contracting with a great many smaller growers of the region for grapes. In this quest to bring top-quality wine to as many people as possible, Fritz has, as the back label pompously informs us, found inspiration in the "Bauhaus" school of architecture and art. The portfolio has now expanded to more than half a dozen wines.

Pictures: Tasting with Fritz Keller

The Wines Fritz Keller Poured


2013 Franz Keller Pinot Blanc VDP.Gutswein Euro 9,50
2013 Franz Keller Pinot Gris VDP.Gutswein Euro 9,50
2013 Oberbergener Pulverbuck, Weisburgunder VDP.Este Lage Euro 16,00
2013 Oberbergener Bassgeige “Vum Kähner”, Grauburgunder VDP.Erste Lage Euro 16,00
2012 Franz Keller Pinot Noir VDP.Gutswein Euro 11,00
2012 Franz Anton Pinot Noir Euro 20,00
2013 Oberbergener Bassgeige “Im Leh”, Weissburgunder VDP.Grosse Lage GG Euro 34,00
2013 Kirchberger Chardonnay A VDP.Grosse Lage GG Euro 34,00
2012 Spätburgunder A Euro 45,00


schiller-wine: Related Postings

Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

German Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasy, 2013 

In the Vineyard and the Wine Cellar (and Lunch) with Robert Schätzle, Owner and Winemaker, Weingut Schloss Neuweier in Baden – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Wine Tasting Luncheon at 1 Star Michelin Röttele's Restaurant im Schloss Neuweier in Baden, with Winemaker Robert Schätzle and his Weingut Schloss Neuweier Wines – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Weingut Zähringer in Baden: Cellar Tour and Tasting with Winemaker Paulin Köpfer – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombasy (2014)

Weingut Freiherr von Gleichenstein in Baden: Tour and Tasting with Baron Johannes von Gleichenstein – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014), Germany

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Touring (and Tasting the Wines of) Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA, with David Delea, Switzerland

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Angelo Delea at Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA

As part of the 2014 Digitul Wine Communications Conference in Montreux, Switzerland, I explored the wines of Ticino during a post-conference press trip. This posting - Touring (and Tasting the Wines of) Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA, with David Delea, Switzerland - is the sixth in a series of postings (see below) emanating from my visit of Ticino.

See also:
Exploring the Wines of Ticino in Ticino, the Italian Speaking Part of Switzerland
Touring (and Tasting the Wines of) Brivio Vini SA and Gialdi Vini SA in Mendrisio, Ticono, with Guido Brivio, Switzerland
Polenta and Ticino Wine at Grotto Bundi in Ticino, Switzerland
Visiting Cantina Kopp von der Crone Visini and Tasting with Barbara von der Crone and Paolo Visini in Barbengo, Ticino, Switzerland
Visiting (and Tasting the Wines of) Tamborini SA and Lunch with Valentina Tamborini, Ticino, Switzerland
Touring and Tasting the Wines of Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA, with David Delea, Switzerland
Touring an Tasting the Wines of Agriloro SA and Diner with Owner Meinrad Perler, Switzerland
Touring and Tasting the Wines of Vinattieri Ticinesi, Switzerland
Lunch at Ristorante Montalbano in Stabio, Switzerland

Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA is a large grower/negociant wine producer. In addition, Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA is also a wine importer and retailer. Vini e Distillati is also a major grappa and other brandies producer as well as balsamic vinegar produer. Finally, the Ristorante Bottega del Vino in Locarno, the Bottega del Vino in Ascona and the Fattoria l’Amorosa Hotel and Restaurant in Gudo are also part of the Delea empire.

We were received by David Delea and greeted by founder Angelo Delea.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and David Delea at Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA

Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA

Angelo Delea started his career as a restaurant owner. His love for wine made him become a sommelier before he started to make wine, initially for his own consumption only. In 1983, he founded Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA. Today Vini e Distillati is one of the largest and best known winemakers in Ticino.

Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA owns 23 hectares of land and buys grapes from other producers, equaling about 30 hectares of land. Total output is 70.000 cases.

The Fattoria ll’Amorosa in Gudo includes 4 hectares planted with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It also includes a small hotel, a restaurant and a wine shop.

The Castello di Cantone in Rancate at the foot of the Monte San Giorgio consists of 6 hectares planted with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Semillon.

The Tenuta Paleari in Quartino is the most recent investment of the Delea family, with 8 hectares planted with Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon.

Next to the Tenuta Paleari is the Cavigliano vineyard (1 hectare) with Chardonnay only.

Pictures: Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA

In addition to producing a wide range of wines, Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA is also an important producer of grappa and other brandies as well as balsamic vinegar. Finally, the Ristorante Bottega del Vino in Locarno, the Bottega del Vino in Ascona and the Fattoria l’Amorosa Hotel and Restaurant in Gudo are also part of the Delea empire.

Tour and Tasting with David Delea

We were received in a large modern building. David Delea told us that the facility was constructed in 1993 and doubled in size in 2003. It was quite impressive what we saw: a wine store, a balsamic vinegar production facility, a grappa and other brandy production facility, a large wine cellar, including 800 barrique barrels and an impressive wine museum.

Balsamic Vinegar

We started in the room where Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA makes its traditional balsamic vinegar. David gave us a short introduction: balsamic vinegar is produced by cooking the juice from the pressed grapes for hours until a brown, syrupy liquid with concentrated flavors ( approximately 30% of the original volume). The flavor intensifies over the years, with the vinegar being aged in wooden casks, becoming sweet, viscous and very concentrated. During this period, a portion evaporates. The barrels are topped up according to the Solera System: The oldest cooked must is topped up with the must from the previous year and the must from the previous year is topped up with the must from the year before and so on. The barrels are made of different types of wood, such as cherry, chestnut, oak, mulberry, and ash and they each hold different capacities, becoming smaller with the aging process.

The end result is a very sweet, thick, rich and complex vinegar. Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA sells balsamic vinegar that is 2, 7, 12 and 17 years old.

Pictures: Producing Balsamic Vinegar

Grappa and other Brandies

With a production of 20.000 liters, Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA is the most import producer of grappa and other brandies in Ticino.

Pictures: Producing Grappa and Other Brandies

Wine

David showed us the wine production facilities including a large barrel cellar. 

Pictures: Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA

Wine Museum

We also had a chance to spend some time in the Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA wine museum.

Picture: Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA Wine Museum

Tasting

Finally, we sat down in the impressive barrel cellar for a wine tasting.

Pictures: Wine Tasting at Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA

2011 Noir Brut Spumante Bianco Ticinese DOC Franken 22
2012 Chiar di Luna Bianco di Merlot Ticino DOC Franken 15
2012 Chiar di Luna Bianco di Merlot Ticino DOC Zensa solfiti
2011 Carato Bianco del Ticino DOC Franken 28
2013 Nero di Luna Zensa Solfiti - Easy drinking wine
2011 San Carlo Merlot del Locarnese Ticino DOC Franken 21 - Merlot 92%, Cabernet Franc 8%, Vineyard San Carlo, vines planted in 1987, fermentation in stainless steel tanks, aged for 15 months in new oak barrels of 400 liters, 20,000 bottles
2010 Carato Merlot affinato in Barrique Ticino DOC Franken 32 - Merlot 100%
2010 Carato Riserva Merlot affinato in Barrique Ticino DOC Franken 55 - Merlot 100%, over twenty years, Montedato vineyard in the municipality of Lavertezzo, Long maceration of up to 30 days, aged for 24 months in new oak barrels of 400 liters, 7,000 bottles

Pictures: The Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA Wine we Tasted

We also had a chance to taste the balsamic vinegars.

Picture: Vini e Distillati Angelo Delea SA Balsamic Vinegars

schiller-wine: Related Posting

4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux

Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

Bordeaux Wine Tour 2013 by ombiasy

The 2014 Digital Wine Communications Conference (DWCC) in Switzerland 

The Wines of Weingut Saxer, a Winemaker in the German-speaking part of Switzerland

The Wines of Switzerland – Grand Tasting with (and Introduction to Swiss Wines by) Jancis Robinson and José Vouillamoz