A piece of history
Leaving behind the city of Padua and heading south-west, we arrive at the northern Euganean hills. In the municipality of Rovolon, we find the Montegrande Cristofanon holding. Winegrowers for centuries, the Cristofanons are among the few witnesses to how the winemaking history of this area has evolved. At the heart of the property stands a restored nineteenth-century farmhouse, where guests are welcomed for tastings and visits to the barrel cellar. The underground cellars are home to some important wines, like the Ottomano, Sereo and Vigna delle Roche reserves (all made from Bordeaux grapes).
Not just a winery – an experience
We then pass through the town of Vo’ and arrive at the San Nazario winery and farmhouse restaurant. Here, everything is based on the principle of environmental sustainability. The owners, Marika Zanuso and Sandro Lovison, have carefully structured their choices so that the vineyard and winery are living spaces. In the spacious and homely vegetarian restaurant, guests can sample their “sustainable cooking”, which consists of dishes made from locally grown organic produce paired with the wide range of wines they produce onsite. Simplicity and attention to detail are behind the pleasant atmosphere, where you can relax while sipping the Brolo delle Femmine, the Ca’ Suppiej or the Messalino Passito.
Vineyard and garden
We keep heading south and once we’ve passed the solitary hill Monte Lozzo Atestino on the right, we veer east towards our destination of Monte Brécale, between Fontanafredda and Faedo.
The number of bottles they produce is small but the amount of care taken is huge: the winegrowers in these garden vineyards are also the winemakers and the result is wines that express the deepest soul of the Euganean hills. Anyone who wants can book a tasting and enjoy specialities such as Specola, il Rosso Frari and Calto Fondo, all limited-edition wines.
Continuing towards Cinto Euganeo, we arrive at the southern end of the group of hills, where the Mediterranean element emerges both in the vegetation and in the sensory profile of the wines. Along the road leading to Baone, we come upon the lovely old stone farmhouse at the Vignale di Cecilia winery. Here, Paolo Brunello has chosen a hands-on approach without too many expressive formalities, which has led to him creating a collection of highly original products. The charming barrel cellar with bare rock walls is where the red wines El Moro and Còvolo age gracefully, together with Passacaglia, the first (and top) wine produced by the winery, which gets its name from an age-old Spanish dance.
Land of happiness
Our route then takes us back northwards, to Arquà Petrarca, one of the most beautiful historic villages in Italy. Just outside the Medieval village lies the Terra Felice (literally, “happy land”) farm, run by the young Elena Cardin with the valuable support of her father Graziano. The winery mainly uses international varieties, the results of which can be enjoyed in the Pianoro and Chardonnay. The Cabernet, produced only when the year is right, is definitely worth sampling.