One man, arguably the godfather of Bardolino, made it his life’s work to valorize this humble wine district, setting high standards for the region and releasing decades’ worth of excellent vintages in the process. Can you guess who this man is? It is not Giuseppe Quintarelli of Valpolicella—rather, it is Gianni Piccoli, the humble patriarch of Corte Gardoni, the estate that redefined Bardolino. Records show the Piccoli family has grown grapes on the eastern shores of Lake Garda for hundreds of years, but in 1980 Gianni became the first generation to estate bottle. At a time when the trends of international grape varieties and mechanized, industrial farming practices were sweeping across northern Italy, Gianni stuck to his guns. A proud ambassador of Bardolino’s terroir, he fought homogenization of the local wine scene and planted local varieties like Corvina, Garganega, and Rondinella. He also became the first in the area to farm his vineyards sustainably, a move met with resistance from neighbors fond of generous herbicide and pesticide use. Gianni passed away in 2020 with nearly fifty vintages under his belt at the helm of Corte Gardoni, which remains in capable hands today, as Gianni's three sons had already taken over daily operations at the winery several years before his passing. Mattia is in charge of the cellar, Stefano manages the vineyards, and Andrea helps both of his brothers and also handles sales. They continue to promote the values he championed through their lively, refreshing, and shockingly well-priced wines—a testament to one man’s noble effort to give Bardolino the renown it deserves.
Corte Gardoni Italy | Veneto | Bardolino Chiaretto
On Lake Garda, Chiaretto is considered a macho beverage with aphrodisiacal properties. It is in fact one of the world’s? only truly satisfactory roses.
The list of factors goes on and our list of overachievers could, too. For now, we’ve narrowed down our selections to twenty-four wines—four each at six price points, because tremendous value isn’t exclusive to inexpensive bottlings. You can find it at all prices, from $12 to $120, as these wines resoundingly show.
It’s as if the fossil-laden chalky soil running through Chablis has helped create a wine that is a visceral reminder of our amphibian past, with its bracing smell of waterfalls and oncoming rain, wet stone and coastal citrus groves. Briny, crisp, chiseled, and mouthwatering, it refreshes and invigorates.
While Barolo and Barbaresco are aged for years in wood before release, many growers also bottle a fresher, lighter, more approachable expression of the variety under the Langhe Nebbiolo denomination...
The Geggiano winemaking operation is about as artisanal as can be, housed in a thirteenth-century cellar filled with nothing but old wooden casks, where the elixir of these Tuscan hillsides patiently blossoms to maturity...
Few wines pair better with grilled foods than a savory, smoky expression of Syrah. Additionally, its characteristic spice and assertive flavor make it a great partner to many dishes in Indian, Pakistani, Persian, North African, and eastern Mediterranean cuisines, without forgetting its affinity to rustic French cooking.
Many of our best values, all in one place for your browsing pleasure: bargain whites, rosés, reds, and even a couple of sparklers, made by real people and reefer-shipped so they arrive in your hands in nothing less than perfect condition.
Her wonderfully complex terroir of schist, granite, and galets roulés (alluvial riverbed stones) produces some of the most ethereal rosés you’ll ever taste. And the olive oil—well, it isn’t easy for us to get as excited about olive oil as about wine, but when you taste these, you’ll understand why they have become Corsica’s pride and joy.
You will be hard pressed to find better wines anywhere in the Côte Chalonnaise, and don’t underestimate their appellations—de Villaine wines routinely outperform more prestigious, more expensive appellations.
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