Alpha Zeta was created in 1999 by UK wine importer, David Gleave MW, and New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson with this belief in mind. They realised that the key is to marry local grape growers with impeccable winemaking. All Alpha Zeta wines are made from indigenous grape varieties grown in the hills north-east of Verona. The flavours of the grape shine through in the glass offering great value, quality and balance. Matt works with local Veronese grape growers in hillside vineyards to select parcels of fruit, rather than buying in bulk wine. They have worked together to reduce yields and the grapes are now picked later. In this way, they have been able to improve grape quality and obtain riper flavours.
The vineyards are situated in the hills outside Verona in the Valpantena Valley. Cool currents blow down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites, which helps to moderate the climate, enabling the grapes to ripen slowly. This helps the grapes to retain their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is poor and chalky so the vines are put under stress helping to produce superior quality fruit.
The 2016 harvest has shown many similarities with 2015, with a cold winter and abundant rainfalls. The beginning of the growing season has been characterised by the alternation of dry and rainy periods and it has allowed the perfect development of the vines. The following hot and dry summer led to an abundant harvest with healthy grapes.
The grapes were hand harvested, de-stemmed, crushed and pumped to temperature controlled stainless steel fermenters. The must was left in contact with the skins for seven days, then fermentation took place at up to 30°C. The wine was then moved to stainless steel tanks, where malolactic fermentation took place and the wine was held until bottling.
A lively, youthful ruby wine with fresh cherry aromas that develop into a rich cherry pie character in the mouth. Body comes from soft, supple tannins that match the concentrated fruit through to the characterful finish.