You may be familiar with Provence, the region in Southern France known for their Rosé wines and specific style. And I’m guessing you have yet to hear about Valtènesi, a region in Northern Italy that will be the next BIG Rosé region in Europe. With the guidance of their counterparts in Provence, they having been working tirelessly to educate and spread awareness throughout Italy and Western Europe about their region and specifically the Rosé wines of Valtènesi.
Valtènesi, will for sure be my next big love affair.
I travelled to Northern Italy in September, to attend the Wine Media Conference, which takes place in a different wine region every year for writers, wine media and bloggers in the industry. Historically, this conference has taken place in North America, however, after receiving very positive feedback about this years conference, it looks as though we can expect to see this event travel to more wine regions around the world going forward. This years’ conference was based in Desenzano del Garda, along the southern shores of Lake Garda in the region of Lombardy.
The Wine Media Conference is well-known for their speakers, the educational component, and the wine tastings; but definitely for the tours they arrange with the help of local wine and tourism associations they work with. Every one I’ve ever taken has been amazing, and this year the choices did not disappoint.
Those who know me, know about my crush on Rosé wines. So I was excited to learn the excursion I chose this year (apparently my lack of time to research actually worked in my favour) was all about Rosé wines of Valtènesi!
Our excursion group at the Il Vittoriale degli Italiani – Garda Musei
Our excursion began in Desenzano del Garda and we travelled north along the west side of the Lake to the wine area of Valtènesi. We had a brief introduction to the area with a visit to Il Vittoriale degli Italiani – Garda Musei. A beautiful, serene and historic garden museum.
Costaripa Winery: 2022 winner of the Trebicchieri Gambero Rosso award in Italy for Best Rosé – 2020 Rosa Mara
We then arrived to the office of the Consorzio Valtènesi where we were introduced to the wines of the region, and the opportunity to taste them along with a light regional lunch. All of the region of Valtènesi sits on the western side of Lake Garda and has been producing Rosé wines since 1861. This area definitely attracts all those Italians who love lakelife in the summer, Europeans with summer homes along the lake, and of course wine lovers wanting to explore all the wineries. The area is beautiful, with the views of the mountains and the lake, small towns all around steeped in history, vineyards everywhere you look, and nothing beats the picturesque drive along the lake.
Pasini San Giovanni Winery: 400 year old Mulberry tree; 2023 winner of the Trebicchieri Gambero Rosso award in Italy for Best Rosé – Lettera C
Fun fact: Lombardy has 50 – Michelin star Restaurants in the Michelin Guide (if I heard them correctly, it is also home to one of the best restaurants in the world, with a 1-year waiting list). Also check out the Forbes top 50 restaurants in the world.
Lunch & tasting of 47 Valtènesi Rosé wines
When tasting through those 47 scrumptious wines, what I noticed is that every single Rosé wine had a thread of similarity outside of the winemaker’s artistic edge. It was this juicy hint of watermelon and whisper of herbaceous notes. The beautiful juicy acidity, laced with minerality was prominent in the wines along with some notes of red berries, blueberry, melon, cranberry, rhubarb, lemon, lime and grapefruit citrus and salinity. Overall, the wines were refreshing, delicious and expressed a sense of place with every sip. And I’m happy to say this experience left me loving Valtènesi Rosé!
Tour, tasting & reception at Cà Maiol
This region is known for it’s Groppello grape, and they do produce single varietal rosé wines, however the most popular Rosé wine was a blend called “Chiaretto” – a blend of Groppello (30% min.), Marzemino, Sangiovese & Barbera. Easily paired with many dishes year-round, and a regional favourite would be pork.
Cobue Winery: Dinner hosted at Cobue Winery with the winemakers from Cobue; Cantrina (female owned); Podere dei Folli; Cadore Patrizia (Mother and daughter team) and Citari
Our tour then had us visiting Pasini San Giovanni Winery; then to Costaripa and Cà Maiol for a tour and tasting and reception, before heading to Cobue Winery for dinner with a few winemakers of the region (pictured above). A lovely evening getting to speak with the owners and hearing their stories, and a great way to wrap a full day experiencing Valtènesi.
A big THANK YOU to Consorzio Valtènesi, and Juri Pagani (above) for touring us around and sharing his passion for this region, it was absolutely infectious and so were the wines!
Watch out world, Valtènesi wines will steal your heart.
A full list of the wineries I tasted and was introduced to, in no particular order:
Cobue + Accommodations & Spa
Cascina Belmonte (Organic)
Cadore Patrizia (Mother & Daughter team)
Cantrina (Female owned, Organic)
Cantine la Pergola (Organic)
Le Chiusure (Organic) + Accommodations
Le Sincette (Biodynamic)
La Meridiana (Organic)
Feliciana + Accommodations
Pasini San Giovanni (Organic)
Podere Selva Capuzza + Accommodations
Vivenzi Fabio Eros
I hope you’re intrigued enough to search out wines from this region or plan your own travels to explore this area someday soon!
Enjoy and #DrinkPink,