Pieropan's estate covers 46 hectares of vineyard which are situated on the stony hills of Soave Classico. The Pieropan family has been producing wines in Soave since the 1890s. Indeed, they were the first producer to bottle a wine with the name Soave on the label in the early 1930s. Nino Pieropan took over from his father in 1970 and was the first producer in Soave to make a single vineyard wine, 'Calvarino', in 1971. Nino's two sons, Andrea and Dario, now work with him running the estate. From the 2015 vintage onwards, all Pieropan wines are organically certified.
Calvarino takes its name, 'little Calvary', from the steepness of the slope and the difficulty this presents in working the vineyard. It has the basalt soil that is classic in this part of Soave and is planted with Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave. The Garganega gives structure and acidity to the wines; the Trebbiano di Soave perfume and richness of flavour. There are usually at least two passes through the vineyard to ensure the grapes are picked at the best possible stage of ripeness. The vineyards are farmed organically. The vines are between 30 and 60 years old and are planted 200 to 300m above sea level, at a density of 3000 vines per hectare.
Mild temperatures and moderate rains accompanied the winter season. The beginning of the vines’ growth cycle saw abundant rain, but was thankfully followed by a hot and dry period. This allowed for perfect health and organoleptic qualities in the grapes, making this 2015 vintage one of the best, if not the best, of the last 20 years.
The grapes were de-stemmed and crushed, with the free-run juice fermented at controlled temperatures between 14 and 18°C. The Calvarino was not aged in oak but remained on its lees in glass-lined cement tanks for a year adding complexity and depth to the final wine. It remained in bottle at least two months before release.
The Calvarino is pale straw yellow in colour, with youthful green hues when young, turning golden with ageing. Fresh, floral aromas with elderflower, lemon and cherry. The palate is dry, well balanced and elegant, with tremendous length and finesse.