BY DAN BELMONT
This is Simba. Unofficial Brand Ambassador at Azienda Agricola Corte Sant'Alda, high in the hills of Valpolicella.
We arrived late afternoon and set about exploring the grounds and seeking out our hosts when Simba came along. I may have felt a momentary pang of strange large dog (wolf?) approaching ...But, was quickly disarmed by the dog’s charm, and quirky desire to play with rocks. Then, with the same gracious hospitality we experienced on every step of our Northern-Italian holiday, Simba led me around to the production facility where he made proper introductions to Federica, his owner, and her mother, Marinella Camerani, our host.
The tour and tasting that followed was stellar - from the meticulous biodynamic governance of the vineyard (the only certified biodynamic producer in the region) to the forward-thinking planting of non-traditional varietals (see ‘What We’re Drinking’ in 10 Years) and of course, delicious wines. Freshness and drinkability reigns at Corte Sant'Alda, the Amarone showcasing depth and exotic fruit without being weighed down by unbalanced sugars.
By the end of the visit it felt like we were part of the family, with Marinella (in the role of quintessential Italian grandmother) effortlessly transitioning the subject from winemaking to babymaking! ...Where was Simba when I needed him?
Try: Corte Sant'Alda, Ca Fiui 2015 at all Bedales locations.