Le Battistelle

Italy, Veneto

Gelmino and Cristina Dal Bosco's small family farm is in Brognoligo, the ultimate zone for vineyards at the heart of the Soave Classico region. The family for years sold their grapes to the local co-op but since 2002 took the decison to make their own wines and express their very specific terroir. Thank goodness they did. Their prized vineyards sit on the slopes of an ancient volcano. The steep slopes make viticulture hard work - but the vines thrive here at altitude, firmly rooted in the ancient, basalt-rich volcanic soils. The top wine 'Roccolo del Durlo' comes from such steep vineyards, which similar to the Douro are built up on ancient dry stone walls so that working here is officially certified as 'Heroic Viticulture'! This geology adds an unmistakable vein of mineral freshness to the two brilliant wines. They only grow Garganega here and the juice has a lovely weight of soft pear fruit, some melon and delicious fresh brush of citrus too - aligned with the clean, precise mineral undertone - the results are great. Finally we have found what we have been searching for. A brilliant producer of fresh, textured Soaves that you just want to drink.

The pure, elegant Le Battistelle soaves of the Dal Bosco family are one fine example. The family keep firmly to the tradition of high pergola trellising for their vines, to protect garganega’s delicate aromas from destructive sunburn (summer 2015 frequently saw the mercury top 38 degrees celsius). And they have vines that date back more than a century, to before the destruction of so many of Europe’s vineyards by the phylloxera louse. The harvest from these venerable survivors is miniscule, but it adds much to the wine. Liz Sagues, Hampstead & Highgate Express  (Feb 2016)