An Amazing Day at San Leonardo

My much-anticipated month of biking and wine tasting in Italy finally began last week. Five of my closest wine-loving friends joined me for a ride through the Veneto, which includes Lake Garda and the beautiful valleys of the river Adige, surrounded by the towering and dramatic Dolomites. Of course along the way we had to visit plenty of Amarone and Alto-Adige producers … When I lead a tour the wine is as important as the biking!

On Friday, our visit was to Tenuta San Leonardo outside of Trento, where they make a fabulous and world-reknown Bordeaux blend. A while back I heard of a story where a well-known wine collector from Beverly Hills, who claims to hate all Italian wines, was poured a glass of the San Leonardo and proclaimed it to be a great Graves.

I know my friends at Do Bianchi and MondoSapore are disapointed in me for liking a Bordeaux blend made in Trentino, but San Leonardo has been growing these varieties for over 100 (pre-pheloxera!) years. Insult to injury: the cute doggie in the picture is named Barique.

So we arrive at the estate, which includes the magnificent villa of the proprietor, the Marchese de Gonzaga (if you know your Mantuan history, you’re impressed). It sits among 700 acres of immaculately maintained vineyards, gardens and the forest that extends up to the surrounding mountains. The director of marketing, Fulvio is taking us through the vineyard when a Renault pulls up and out steps the Marchese himself. We chit-chat about biking in the region, the great weather, blah blah blah, but within a couple of minutes, in my broken Italian, I start sharing the story about the BH wine collector.

So next thing we know, Continue reading “An Amazing Day at San Leonardo” »