Giuseppe Lonardi

Veneto - Italy

The Winery

In a little village not far from Verona, tucked into the romantic hills of Valpolicella, you will find the estate of one of the best Amarone producers in Italia - Giuseppe Lonardi. “Bepi,” as his wife likes to call him, is a fourth-generation winemaker, and he leads a beautiful, streamlined life. On average, he hand-crafts just a few hundred cases per year of each of his finest wines. Marilena smiles fondly when you ask her about her husband: “He’s a workaholic. He basically sleeps with the wine.” Matching his stride and making wine right beside him is Giuseppe’s daughter, Silvia, who additionally runs “Corte Lonardi”, the family’s cozy, four-room inn. Over the years, she has gradually taken on more and more responsibility in the cellar and is now a formidable producer in her own right!

What sets Giuseppe and Silvia apart from so many others is their ongoing devotion to old-fashioned Amarone and Ripasso. Far from being sweet and cloying, their wines display endless layers of fruit, earthy tannins, and admirable acidity, and they’re often designed to cellar for decades. Structure-driven, yet full of nuance and grace, even their Amarone maintains its poise even after a 100-day, appassimento drying process. Without a doubt, altitude plays a large role in Lonardi’s ability to maintain this classical approach. Located in Marano, the loftiest of 8 hilltop villages comprising the region’s “green heart”, Lonardi’s is the highest single estate in all Valpolicella Classico. In an era of warming temperatures, their cooler clime plays a huge role when it comes to controlling ripeness. Intent is the other half of that coin: rather than harvest their grapes for Amarone later in the season, Giuseppe and Silvia hand pick the best fruit for their top wine first (usually in early September), so that the port-like flavors of Amarone stay concentrated after drying, but the sugar content remains modest and sophisticated.

Enologist
Giuseppe Lonardi
Grapes Grown by Winery
Cabernet Franc, Corvina, Croatina, Molinara, Rondinella
Vineyard Size
7.0 ha
Winemaker
Giuseppe and Silvia Lonardi
Winemaker Biography
A true father-daughter team, Giuseppe and Silvia combine forces daily to make some of the last, old-fashioned Amarone from the Valpolicella Classico region. Given the level of care – and the number of years – that go into their wines, “hand-crafted” doesn’t quite do their process justice. Despite its small size, their estate produces wines with enormous character and presence.
Winemaker Generation
4th
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Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG

Drawing upon his high altitude and low yields, Giuseppe Lonardi crafts a breathtakingly unique, old-fashioned Amarone. Port-like and deeply concentrated, this wine still maintains an incredible acidic backbone, allowing it to age for decades. Powerful and heady, it offers up layers dried cherry, potpourri, chocolate, cedar chest, and exotic spice. The production is micro, and it shows in this monumental, luxurious wine.

Color
Deep garnet
Nose
Intense dark cherry, chocolate, and dried fig
Palate
Full-bodied and velvety, with dark cherry, aged balsamic, and woody spice
Finish
Long, complex finish (increase with age)
Vineyard Location
Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG, Veneto
Vineyard Size
7 ha
Varietals List
75% Corvina
20% Molinara
5% Croatina
Farming Practices
Organic (non-certified); dry-farmed; grapes picked by hand
Elevation
350 m
Soils
Dense clay
Maturation Summary
In neutral barrels for 36 months and bottled for 6 months
Alcohol
15.0 %
Acidity
5.5 g/liter
Residual Sugar
4.5 g/liter
Annual Production
4,500 bottles

Privilegia Rosso Veronese IGT

For fans of Amarone comes this powerful, striking weave of Cabernet Franc and dried Corvina. The wine is both structured and elegant, with bold, dark fruit and a dusty, potpourri finish. Matured for 22 months in barriques, it’s a neo-classic Italian wine that will age for 15 years. Less than 500 cases made!

Color
Deep garnet
Nose
Rich, dark fruit and woody spice
Palate
Bold tannic structure with ripe cherry and earthspice
Finish
Balanced, smooth, long finish
Vineyard Location
Veneto IGT, Veneto
Vineyard Size
7 ha
Varietals List
80% Corvina

20% Cabernet Franc
Farming Practices
Organic (non-certified); dry-farmed; grapes picked by hand
Elevation
350 m
Soils
Dense clay (also very conducive to cherry trees)
Maturation Summary
Bottled for 6 months
Alcohol
14.0 %
Acidity
5.7 g/liter
Residual Sugar
4.5 g/liter
Annual Production
2,700 bottles

Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore D.O.C.

“Ripasso” refers to the re-passing of Valpolicella Classico through the pressed, raisined skins used for making Amarone. These skins are aromatic, high in alcohol and flavor, and are very valuable; that’s why true Ripasso is a small production wine. Some brands attempt to short-cut the process by adding residual sugar – but not Giuseppe. This offering from Lonardi has tiers of lush cherry, cranberry, and chocolate, along with the streamlined structure that epitomizes the native Corvina.

Color
Deep ruby red
Nose
Dried, dark cherry and fig with earthy undertones
Palate
Medium-full bodied, with soft layers of earth, cherry, chocolate and spice
Finish
Delightful, long finish
Vineyard Location
Valpolicella Ripasso DOC, Veneto
Vineyard Size
7 ha
Varietals List
75% Corvina
20% Rondinella
5% Molinara
Farming Practices
Organic (non-certified); dry-farmed; grapes picked by hand
Elevation
350 m
Soils
Dense clay
Maturation Summary
In neutral barrels for 12-18 months and bottled for 6 months
Alcohol
13.5 %
Acidity
5.5 g/liter
Residual Sugar
3.5 g/liter
Annual Production
21,600 bottles

Valpolicella Classico DOC

Even though they’re Veneto’s most important red varietals, few outside the region are versed in the outstanding Corvina and Rondinella grapes. Classically, they combine for a delightful, “dusty” palate of dried strawberries, cranberries, and even the bittersweet of rhubarb. Glycerin levels are modest in this old-fashioned Valpolicella, giving the wine a refreshing composition that’s perfect for spicy, warm-weather foods. An everyday favorite in and around Venice.

Color
Bright ruby red
Nose
Ripe cherry with earthy undertones
Palate
Fresh and lively, with ripe cherry and rhubarb
Finish
Mouth-watering and food friendly
Vineyard Location
Valpollicella DOC, Veneto
Vineyard Size
7 ha
Varietals List
75% Corvina
20% Rondinella
5% Molinara
Farming Practices
Organic (non-certified); dry-farmed; grapes picked by hand
Elevation
350 m
Soils
Dense clay
Maturation Summary
In Steel for 12 months and Bottled for 6 months
In Steel
12 months
Alcohol
12.0 %
Acidity
5.5 g/liter
Residual Sugar
2.5 g/liter
Annual Production
13,200 bottles