Cecilia Beretta, North East Italy, Veneto

Katalin Kiszel-Kohari - September 5, 2020

As the pandemic is still raging, I find it difficult, nearly impossible to write about current tastings. Slim pickings to say the least. The virtual experience is great, but it is rather expensive when you are on a budget. At the moment I am just trying to write about those things I have attended a while ago and made notes of, which is actually aplenty. Here goes another one.

Cecilia Beretta Winery, owned by Umberto, Riccardo and Alessandro Pasqua. It was established in the early 80’s, with the ambition of producing wines of high quality, reflecting the tradition of the Valpolicella and Soave areas of Northern Italy. Some of their vineyards been bought in the 1940’s. It is a land that has been a wine production area since the Roman times. The vineyards are at around 200m elevation and on a limestone base rock with clay topsoil.

They devoted making a small range of very fine, interesting wines, highlighting the deep history of the region by using ancient, indigenous varieties, like Corvina, using old, time consuming and labour intensive techniques like ‘appassimento’ and ‘ripasso’ and making your obligatory Pinot Grigio outstandingly great!

By the way, who is Cecilia Beretta? She was a well-educated, intelligent and refined woman, who lived in the 18th century. She loved to be surrounded by artists and intellectuals from all over Europe. She was a powerful, yet elegant lady, not unlike the wines of winery!

I have met the lovely, Cecilia Pasqua, who is an aspiring MW and the brand ambassador, if you wish. I had a personal tasting with her showing off their offerings.

I have tasted:

  • Pinot Grigio Luna Cecilia Beretta,
  • Soraie Veneto Rosso IGT Cecilia Beretta,
  • Valpolicella Classico Superiore Terre di Cariano Cecilia Beretta 2016,
  • Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore Cecilia Beretta 2016,
  • Amarone Classico Terre di Cariano Cecilia Beretta 2012,
  • I can honestly say that the Pinot Grigio Luna was one of the best Pinot Grigio, I have ever tasted. Subtle, floral, citrusy, delicate wine. A true gem between the numerous badly made, dilute Pinot Grigios of the region.

    Soraie is a great alternative if you like Amarone style wines. Made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Corvina, Croatina. A rich, velvety, chocolatey wine for the fraction of the price of a true Amarone.

    The Valpolicella Classico was a juicy, spicey intense wine, a great example what a well-made Valpolicella could offer.

    The Ripasso was even dialled up a notch. The wine is produced by putting Valpolicella Classico under a second fermentation by adding the skins remaining from Amarone production. It imparts additional tannin, body, and slightly higher alcohol to the wine.

    The Amarone Classico was a real star here. It showed sophistication and restrain as it was not an overly fruity, too alcoholic over the top wine. It was elegant, cleverly made, intense wine well-worth of trying.

    Photographs by The Tannin Addict.