Because in the end, we always go back to where we have been well. And Lake Garda is one of those places where it is really difficult not to be able to appreciate breathtaking views, sublime food and truly delicious wines.
Obviously, among the wines there is the “overnight wine ”, typical of the Lombard side of Lake Garda.
We had the pleasure to talk with Luigi Negri, owner of the La Guarda Winery m in the hills of the Brescia province.
Let’s start with the territory and the vineyards … what are the particularities of this area?
The property covers an area of 18 hectares, 9 cultivated with vineyards and 2.5 cultivated with olive trees. The soil, characterized by stones and sand, gives rise, together with the particularly dry and constantly ventilated climate influenced by the proximity of the majestic Lake Garda, to a pedo-climatic situation that is considered by many experts not only ideal for the achievement of a “excellent quality of the products, but also the best in the area.”
From the passion for this territory was born La Guarda The vines grown are: Barbera, Groppello, Marzemino, Merlot and Sangiovese the reds, Riesling Renano and Chardonnay the whites. In the small basement cellar it is possible to get into the heart of the production and follow step by step the meticulous processes that, starting from the bunch of grapes, lead to the wine ready for the bottle.
And what can you tell us about your Winery?
The history of my family has ancient origins: since 1870 we vinified grapes, first purchased, then from 1970 we produced directly in the company. This wonderful and unique hill was bought by my father Angelo: with the help of his experience, we were able to combine tradition with the application of modern technologies and innovations in the viticultural and enological field, with the sole purpose of reaching levels of ever higher quality. In 2002 I married Francesca and, since 2017, we carry on my father’s work together. Francesca and I met in 1999, during the harvest, and since then we have started dreaming about the future of this small company.
How beautiful the loves blossomed during the harvest! You know that we are rosé lovers….Tell us something about your rosé!
Riviera del Garda Classico Chiaretto DOC, the most characteristic and typical wine of the west coast of Lake Garda and unique among those produced in Italy, arises a few hours after the grapes squeezing. A professional experience of the producer is essential to separate the most from the peels in order to retain the desired blush colour and the top of its fruity and fresh aroma. Chiaretto ends fermentation in particular stainless steel tanks receiving a careful control of the temperature. The characteristic processing method and the correct blending of the red berries vines (50% minimum Groppello, Marzemino, Barbera e Sangiovese) traditionally grown on the moranic hills of the Valtenesi, make Chiaretto an example of a unique and special wine, delicate in all its features: from the pink colour with purple highlights, to the pleasant bouquet, up to the soft sapid taste, characterized with light acidity. Its best overall quality is gained few months after harvest. Served at a temperature of 9/10 C° is the perfect wine for light courses, seafood, freshwater fish, poultry or veal meats and pizza.
You don’t only produce rosé, right? We know you produce almost every wine with single grape variety…
Yes, right! To fully enhance the peculiarities of each single grape variety, I produce all (or almost) single-varietal wines: Groppello, the only native grape of the Valtènesi, Marzemino, Merlot, Sangiovese, Riesling. The only blend I produce is Chiaretto, our rosé wine. The vinification follows the most ancient tradition, the one that my father and my grandparents and great-grandparents handed down to me before him! I have dedicated a very special wine to my father on the occasion of his 60th vintage: Inchino, the only Groppello Chinato of which I am very proud. Making wine for me is not just a job … it’s a passion! And I love to tell it and also transmit it to people who come to visit us! When you open a bottle of wine to taste it, you are not only drinking the wine but also all the history behind it, the effort, the successes, the failures, the hours spent in the vineyard taking care of every single bunch, the endless days spent in the cellar to ensure that each production process leads to the best possible result! When you drink one of my wines you will find all this: my world, our world!
We absolutely share what you say: knowing the history, the effort, the successes, the failures that are hidden inside a bottle of wine.
Any other curiosities to tell us?
My wife Francesca and I are deeply united by our love for the world of wine and we love to describe in this way our project: “Our passion is to produce wines of highest quality but even more we love to tell their story; William Shakespeare wrote.
As it’s true that there is truth in wine. I’ll tell you everything, without secrets. And that’s right: in front of a glass of wine we tell ourselves, hearts open and the souls meet and manage to touch each other. In all these years we have told friends, visitors, tourists, simple enthusiasts to the world of wine, our history and we were lucky enough to live and be part of them: different and incredible events, but for a few moments, we felt our … this is the magic of wine! “
Open your eyes…look what you drink!
Our winery joins the Lombardo Wine Tourism Movement and we offer to all of you who come to visit us, some services that will increase your wine culture and allow you to discover, through our guided tours, suggestive landscapes and typical gastronomic products; it also organizes cultural events of various kinds, especially during the harvest, the most important moment of the year. “The harvest is a magical moment for adults and children; every Sunday of September and sometimes even on Saturday night version, we open the doors of our winery to families, groups of friends and all people who want to really get to know this fascinating world of wine; collect the grapes directly from the viniards and then press it with the hands or the feet is for children (but not only) is a way to rediscover the traditions of the country, to touch the story, the real one, lived by our grandparents … leave inebriating from the scent of the must and then relaxing for a typical country lunch directly on the grass lawn is a bit like returning children for a day … you can appreciate the joy of sharing, being together with carefree and rediscovering the flavors and aromas of the past ” Moreover, throughout the year, guided tours of the vineyards and the winery are planned by appointment, followed by winetasting also with typical Garda products. From 2018, with the construction of a new accommodation located on the top floor of the winery, you can stay in four comfortable and spacious apartments equipped with kitchen, private bathroom, Wifi and salt water pool.
A summary sheet on the Chiaretto of La Guarda can be found below!
We congratulate Luigi and Francesca for the passion they put into their work and thanks for sharing this love story with us!
Best wishes and good luck!