Bertani Wines Marries Innovation with Verona’s Rich Cultural History
Verona, Italy is a place known for its stories. From its history as a hub of the Roman Empire to acting as the backdrop to Shakespearian plays like Romeo and Juliet, Verona’s rich cultural history is undeniable. It’s therefore fitting that one of the region’s most iconic wines, Bertani, has a compelling story behind its own legacy.
Bertani was founded in 1857, in the province of Verona, by brothers Giovan Battista and Gaetano Bertani. Even in the early days of its founding, the estate was a pioneer in Italian winemaking, implementing leading-edge vine growing techniques that Gaetano had learned while studying under notable French winemaker, Jules Guyot.
The estate was one of the first Veronese producers to bottle and export its own wine overseas. Bertani wines soon became recognized internationally for their exceptional quality and creative production methods. The Soave Bertani label was even selected to be served at British King George VI’s coronation in 1937.
Perhaps Bertani’s most seminal contribution to the world of wine, however, came in the late 1950s when the estate developed a distinctive technique called appassimento. This method, which involves drying the wine grapes before fermenting them, was used to create what has become one of Italy’s most famous styles of wine: Amarone. This full-flavoured red is now synonymous with Bertani and northeastern Italy’s Veronese winemaking region.
Today, Bertani continues to make its Amarone slowly and naturally, just as it has been produced for the past 60 years. The grapes are dried without the use of artificial air conditioning and fermented for over 50 days in cement vats. The wine is then aged for six years in Slavonian oak barrels and for an additional 12 months in the bottle.
Now in its sixth generation of family ownership, the Bertani estate has grown over the decades to cover more than 200 hectares of cultivated vineyards across the province of Verona. Its vineyards may have expanded but Bertani’s commitment to using non-invasive ecological practices that showcase the region’s native grape varietals remains the same.
The Secco Bertani and royally-recognized Soave Bertani labels are still made according to the same methods that first earned the producer acclaim across the globe over 160 years ago. While honouring age-old techniques is at the heart of Bertani’s approach, the winemaker also continues to innovate with the release of terroir-driven and single-vineyard labels like Ognisanti.
The most enduring stories teach us about both our past and our future. Rooted in tradition and with an eye towards continual evolution, Bertani wines, like all great stories, stand the test of time.