Dalle Ore and the madness of Italian wine laws, part 997
Meeting Benedetta Mangoni Dalle Ore, a young winemaker from the Veneto with a surprising Scottish brogue and some killer macerated Garganega.
As I write this, I’m en route to Czechia to sample the 7th edition of Bottled Alive and a selection of Moravian vineyards. The fair will be attended by 35 Czech growers, plus 55 colleagues from all over Europe. I figured it’s high time I got to grips with what is fast shaping up to be one of central Europe’s most exciting wine nations. Next week, I’ll report back on the fair and my visits to growers. Expect a lot of new content.
A significant portion of my work is about unearthing winemakers who are putting their own slant on the wine world, reinventing it whilst allowing us a glimpse of their history and culture through the lens of wine. The time and energy this requires is only possible with your support, so I’m grateful to all my subscribers and especially those of you who put your trust in me with a paid subscription. The annual option remains discounted by 20% until the end of January, so there is no better moment to upgrade.
Meanwhile, here’s what happened to me on Monday, when I met the live wire that is Benedetta Mangoni Dalle Ore in Amsterdam. The first thing I noticed when speaking to this passionate and animated young woman was an unexpected accent. Peppering her sentences with “right enough”, she sounded like she was straight out of an Irvine Welsh novel. Still, it didn’t seem polite to get straight into her autobiography, so we covered the winery’s history first.
Benedetta’s grandfather created the Dalle Ore estate in the Veneto, a few kms northwest of Vicenza. The family sold most of the grapes at that time, until Benedetta’s father Marco took the reins and started making wine commercially. The farming has been completely organic since the beginning, and Marco’s winemaking started from a traditional low-intervention basis. There are 15 hectares of vines today.
She explains that this slightly obscure corner of the Veneto, close to Soave and Gambellara but not officially part of either, has a perfect climate in terms sun and aeration. So achieving organic certification in 2009 was a breeze. Not that Benedetta, who is the older of two daughters, had any desire to get involved.