The Three Crus of Suavia in Soave Classico: Fittà, Castellaro and Tremenalto

The history of Suavia consists of a castle, no frog, few princes and lots of princesses. With an introduction as delightful as this one, it's hard to restrain yourself from opening the door into the realm of Suavia. The winery is family-owned located in the heart of the Soave Classico appellation in the Veneto region in northern Italy. Today, it is with the fourth generation of the family, the three sisters who have decided to continue their family's tradition and legacy on the beautiful hills of Soave. 

Alessandra, Meri and Valentina Tessari are the three protagonists of Suavia, daughters of Giovanni Tessari and Rosetta who took over their parents' activity. While the youngest, Alessandra, followed another road for her studies, she made a U-turn back to her family's land to join her sisters, one of whom, Valentina, was already an oenologist, in making one of the best expressions of wine in Soave Classico. The family's history dates back from the beginning of the 1900s when the sisters' great-grandfather planted the vineyards in Fittà to supply the town's cooperative winery with his grapes. However, the real turning point of the history of the winery happened in 1982 when Giovanni Tessari and his wife Rosetta decided to vinify the grapes that they harvested from their land because they realized the potential of wine production in the small hill town village.

Under the guidance of the Tessari sisters now, the Suavia winery is reliving a new spring in recent years which goes through a modernization aimed at enhancing the true and primordial essence of the grapes of the native vines of this territory. They have chosen to honor to bond with their land by specializing in the production of Soave Classico, a true expression and authentic essence of the territory.

"The memory of our grandfather is still very clear for me. I remember his meticulous and passionate daily work: it was he who passed on to me and my sisters the love for this work and the values that still drive us today," reminisces Meri Tessari. "Collecting this inheritance was natural for us and as adults we embarked on this undertaking: to create a new company, giving a clear identity to our grapes. Guided by a sense of responsibility and with the desire to give our contribution, supporting our parents, we therefore entered the company, specializing in a different way in this sector, with the aim of modernizing it," adds Meri Tessari.

Today, their land has grown to 30 hectares of vineyards right in the middle of the Classic appellation area of Soave. They only cultivate two native varieties of Soave in their vineyards: Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave. These grapes have been in cultivation in the area for centuries and with these two varieties, the family continues the ancient tradition that their grandfathers have planted. Not only does this territory produce excellent white wines, but its beauty is indisputably captivating, with the soft hills lined with rows of vineyards dominating the scenery. At the area of Soave Classic, the eastern hills have soil of prevalently volcanic origin while the western ones are of limestone base, with the highest altitude reaching up to 340 meters. The micro climate is cooler on the hills where a big diurnal temperature range is evident and it receives more hours of sun exposure, all the factors that hugely benefit the excellent health of the grapes. This macro-division of the Classic zone is in turn divided into further micro zones within which many of the most important Crus of the Soave denomination are found.  

The Volcanic Expressions of Soave

The wines of Soave are produced both in the plains and in the hills. However, the grapes grown on the hills tend to give more superior wine with significantly different characteristics compared to those of the plains because of the favorable elements in their growth. For this, all the vineyards of Suavia are located on the hills in the Classic zone of Soave, mainly on the eastern hills with soil of volcanic origin and rich in micro elements.

"Our company stands on ancient land, whose formation dates back to approximately 50 million years ago. Once upon a time these lands were covered by the ocean and the climate was tropical. The seabed teemed with underwater volcanoes. The mother rock, in fact, is of volcanic origin and this characteristic makes our soil truly special, differentiating it greatly compared to other types of soil along the peninsula," says Valentina Tessari, oenologist of Suavia.

Soil has a vast number of typologies but even when you speak about just one type such as the volcanic soil, there are various nuances and differences from one micro area to another. In fact, in the Soave area, thanks to a zoning project conducted in recent years, 33 Unità Geografiche Aggiuntive (UGA) or Additional Geographical Units have been identified. These are soils identified with different percentages of rocky and clayey compositions. Suavia's vineyards extend across several of these geographical units and this has made it possible to diversify production aimed at expressing the characteristics of each soil through wines that present palpable differences from an organoleptic point of view.

The Grape Varieties of Soave: Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave

The two native grape varieties that have claimed Soave as their home are Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave. These two comprise the Soave Classic DOC wines with Garganega specified with a minimum of 70% (until 100%) and the rest with Trebbiano di Soave along with Chardonnay, if the producer chooses to blend. However, some producers like Suavia opt to vinify with 100% Garganega.

Garganega is the most widespread grape variety in the provinces of Verona and Vicenza. Historically, there are some theories about its origin, one of which is its ancient Etruscan ancestry, the fact of which pertains to the distinctive pergola-trained vines that were initially experimented by the Etruscans that then spread to the northeastern part of Italy. Garganega, a late-ripening white grape variety that's picked in October, has also become popular to grow because of its generous yield with moderately vigorous bunches. It has a versatile characteristic with a high capacity to adapt to every type of terrain like when grown in the hilly areas with volcanic soil, it gives firm minerals and taste structure. On an organoleptic level, it expresses white floral notes with crispy fruits with white to yellow pulp, notable freshness and minerality.

Trebbiano di Soave, also known as Trebbiano di Lugana, Turbiano, Terbiana, Turbiano Moscato or Trebbiano Veronese which are widespread also in the provinces of Verona and Brescia, has very ancient origins. The vine is less productive and is more difficult to cultivate than Garganega and for this reason, it has gradually lost the interest of many winemakers. Its bunch ripens earlier than that of Garganega and is more compact and more sensitive to biotic agents. Trebbiano provides wine with great structure and on an organoleptic level, it is more delicate than Garganega, expresses notes of almonds, acidity, minerality and is quite suitable for aging.

"Unlike those who have switched to Guyot in recent years, the Veronese pergola, even in the new systems, remains for us the best system for the production of our grapes," Valentina Tessari says. "This cultivation system, in addition to having an emotional and cultural value for us, is the one that guarantees a better micro climate and greater ventilation of the vegetative wall, as well as better shading of the bunch which is not hit by the sun in direct way."

I Luoghi: The Three Crus of Suavia

All the vineyards of Suavia are located in the heart of the Classic area of Soave denomination and they fully represent the extraordinary qualities of the soil and the variability that characterize them. The territory of the Soave DOC is a territory distinguished by a dual nature, that of the limestone hills which is the the result of the lifting of the ancient seabed which began to form 200 million years ago, and that of the basaltic hills which was formed by the eruption of ancient underwater volcanoes which, starting 65 million years ago, put in place the rocks from which the soils we know today originated. This evidences the particularity of the volcanic soils within the hilly territories of Soave and with the vineyards of Suavia, the wines find one of their best and most complete expressions.

The most common feature that volcanic soils provide is the strong mineral imprint that it gives to the wines of Suavia plus high quality. Their vineyards, however in a small territory, have different variables of volcanic soils that give remarkable identifying identities. Professor Giuseppe Benciolini, a highly experienced pedologist, together with Valentina, one of the sisters and the oenologist of the company, have come up with the "I Luoghi" project. The project, which took five years into completion, is based on oenological observations and geological studies on the depths of the territory. They worked on three of their vineyards which were already recognized as Unità Geografiche Aggiuntive (UGA). Because of the particularity and recognizable characteristics of these small plots, the three Crus were born. As a result, Suavia has presented their first 2,000 bottles that tell the story of how diverse these kinds of volcanic soil can give to wines. 

"I Luoghi" are born from a strong and profound desire to interpret this territory which is, first and foremost, our home," explain the three sisters. "The three UGA from which the line takes shape represent the Soave in its most characteristic expressions, starting from the steep slopes, from the basaltic compositions of the soils up to get to the very rich biodiversity of this area, which we always try to defend through our organic approach. All these elements are perceptible in the three wines but in three interpretations that are unique and different from each other."

Fittà, Castellaro and Tremenalto are the three unique crus with their in the heart of the Soave area from which Suavia cultivates the Garganega grapevines trained in Veronese pergola method, vineyards where they have always obtained the most expressions. In the creation of the 2,000 bottles, the Garganega grapes were vinified separately, according to which vineyards they came from, but all in the same manner. All three are made with 100% Garganega. The harvest took place in the middle of October of 2020, fermented for 14 days in stainless steel in controlled temperature between 15-18 °C then maturation for 12 months on fine lees in steel and finally, aging in the bottle for 24 months.

These three labels cost €99 and are not sold individually.

Fittà Soave Classico DOC 2020

Fittà, which covers approximately one hectare, is located on the ridge that connects the town of Fittà with the slopes of Mount Castellaro, on a slightly undulating surface facing south with an elevation between 240 to 255 meters above sea level. It has an exposure to the south and partly to the east, with slopes ranging from 15% to 45%. The old Garganega vines, planted in the early 1940s, rest on clayey soil and of volcanic origin whose substrate is made up of highly altered basaltic volcanic soil. Two different types of soil have been identified in the Fittà vineyard: the first extremely evolved and structured while the second is affected by the arrangement of the slope and highlights within it the presence of a multiform variety of deeply altered basaltic rocks.

The wine has a bright straw yellow color with an intensity in the nose. The nose is complex dominated by sulfurous and smokey notes, combined with yellow peach, ripe exotic fruits, syrupy pineapple and citrus and floral scents. On the palate, it has a light concentration which corresponds with the nose, persistent with its acidity and a thin line of savory trail in the end.

Castellaro Soave Classico DOC 2020

The Castellaro vineyard is small, covering less than a hectare of Suavia's estate. It faces north on the side of the ridge that rises from Mount Castellaro towards the town of Fittà where it receives cool breezes and the coldest exposure among the three crus. It is located at an altitude of 220 meters above sea level. with slopes of 20%. The soil here is very stony which make the roots dig their paths through a maze of basalt stones. The volcanic soil is made up of altered basaltic volcanic stones, is moderately deep and characterized by a profile rich in rock fragments. The vines, planted in the 1970s, have an average age of 50 years old.

Bright straw yellow in color with an intense nose than opens with mineral sensations and distinctive balsamic notes, banana peel, jasmine and pepper. On the palate, it gives a warm sensation, woody notes, mature yellow stone fruit pulp, sapidity and a trail of thin acidity that ends with persistence. 

Tremenalto Soave Classico DOC 2020

The Tremenalto vineyards, planted in the 1960s, cover 2 hectares in the Moscatello area, on a slope facing west with an altitude between approximately 80 to 130 meters above sea level. The area is located in an area formed by a system of slopes and valleys overlooking the Val d'Alpone called Tremenalto on the north of the town of Fittà. In the Tremenalto vineyards, three different types of soil were identified with markedly different characteristics which reflect the intrinsic variety of the basaltic rocks and the different intensity of the slope processes to which they were subjected to. The first is extremely reddened by the oxidative processes of alteration of the minerals; the second is deep and evolved on a wavy surface substantially preserved by erosive processes; and the third is extremely eroded, superficial and evidently shaped by human action.

Bright straw yellow in color with a thin and crisp nose that opens with notes of chalk, white peach, mature pineapple, candied pear and a light sensation of sweetness. On the palate it is thin and broad with a prominent thin backbone of crisp acidity, notes of minerals, soft and persistent. A very interesting wine that expresses its elegance and harmony with a promise of its full expression as it ages.


Address: Frazione Fittà, Via Centro 14, 37038 Soave (VR), Italy
Tel: +39 045 7675089