Brigaldara. The history of the Sustainable Viticulture Award-winning winery
Stefano Cesari began his adventure in the Valpolicella area forty years ago. The few acres around the splendid winery in San Pietro in Cariano have gradually grown to 50: a real jigsaw puzzle of vineyards that extends to the valleys of Marano, Grezzana and Marcellise, offering altitudes, exposures and soils for personality-filled wines. More subtle and elegant, the western wines take advantage of the Marano valley’s cool climate to seek tension and agility; on the other hand, full-bodied and lively wines are produced in Marcellise and Grezzana, where the fruit ripeness is dominant, giving them greater fullness and warmth. The arrival in the company of Antonio and Lamberto, alongside their father Stefano, has brought new life and new challenges to Brigaldara: the Amarone production has been consolidated, with vineyards exploring the whole appellation, but great attention is now devoted to Valpolicella Superiore, that more than any other type forges a bond with the vineyard of origin and best interprets historic vines’ aromatic and taste potential.
But that’s not all: everything we’ve described so far is carried out keeping a watchful eye on sustainability: the winery has been certified by Equalitas, which guarantees sustainability standards according to three different aspects: environmental, economic and social. A commitment that we at Gambero Rosso also wanted to reward with the Special Sustainable Viticulture Award, sponsored by Zignago Vetro in our Guida Vini d’Italia 2022.
Brigaldara’s Sustainable Viticulture Award
Summarising the meaning of this award as a prize for an organic or low-sulphite winery might seem a little simplistic. Sustainability can no longer be measured by taking into account exclusively the relationship between the producer and the surrounding agricultural environment. It is necessary to raise the bar and question the complexity of the winegrower’s work, including less obvious aspects such as the use of non-renewable resources, the environmental impact of glass bottle production and transport, and the employee relations, which cannot be limited to the employment contract. Through its certification, Brigaldara wanted to underline its all-round commitment, where the presence of solar panels on the winery roof is just the tip of the iceberg. The submerged part of the iceberg comprehends the drastic reduction of bottle weight, the monitoring of energy and water usage, and company’s efforts to create a positive relationship with its employees.
“Beyond treating employees fairly, our commitment is to enhance their skills and their virtue ethics which affect everyone’s work and act as a spur and food for thought for both colleagues and us”. Business owner Stefano Cesari emphasises that this is one of the company’s cornerstones to be developed: the employee involvement and the company’s commitment to career growth, supporting its employees during difficult times, even when not work related. These objectives drove us to give the company our special award.
Sustainable Viticulture Award. Brigaldara’s wines
The Amarone della Valpolicella Classico ’16 earned the winery the Tre Bicchieri in the Gambero Rosso Guida Vini d’Italia 2022. From the vineyards located in the Marano valley, this wine reveals an aromatic bouquet where overripe cherries intertwine with spicy and undergrowth notes, finding in the floral aromas an unexpected burst of freshness. Warm and vigorous as expected from a Veronese red, it glides gracefully across the palate with its acidic backbone that lengthens into a dry, gentle finish. Also very interesting is the Valpolicella Case Vecie ’19: the vineyards are surrounded by woods and stretch across the watershed that separates the Valpantena from the Marano valley. Wild fruits on the nose that recall sweetness and acidity at the same time, enlivened by the constant presence of black pepper and hints of vegetation. The taste is dry, dynamic and of great tension.
Brigaldara – San Pietro in Cariano (VR) – Via Brigaldara, 20 – +39 045 7701 055
Sponsor of the Special Sustainable Viticulture Award 2022