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.
Grapes are picked from a range of different vineyards on the Pieropan property. The 30 year old vines are trained according to the traditional Veronese pergola system and are south facing.
A wet winter helped to restore water reserves and ensured a good start to the growing season, with what Pieropan described as 'luxuriant canopies and leaves that were green and rich in chlorophyll'. The growing season in general was uneventful, with hot spells interspersed by cool periods. August was particularly hot, with little relief in the second half of the month but fortunately, a little rain in the middle of September brought welcome relief to the late ripening Garganega. This allowed the vines in the Classico zone to recover from the hot, dry August. The harvest for Garganega started in early October.
Straight after picking, the grapes were laid on straw mats in a well-ventilated loft to dry for approximately five months. The name derives from the fact that only the best part of the bunch is used - the 'recie' or ears of the bunch. These grapes are the ripest because they have had the best exposure. A small amount of botrytis was encouraged, approximately 10-15% in total. In early spring, the semi-dried grapes were pressed, then the must was fermented and aged in large oak casks for two years. The wine spent a further six months in bottle before release.
An intense gold colour, with perfumes of dried apricots and lightly toasted almonds, the Recioto di Soave has a perfectly balanced palate, with just the right level of delicate sweetness offset by a fresh acidity. Lovely, rich, almost exotic fruit on the palate, with a baked peach character and long, perfumed finish.