This week, I am going to talk about an Italian wine maker I met in 1995. Giuseppe Lonardi is from a small village called Marano, about twenty minutes northwest of Verona. That puts him in the heart of the “classico” area of the Valpolicella agricultural zone.
One of the fascinating things about Valpolicella wines is that they can only be successfully produced in this small geographic area. The grapes used for the blend grow well here but not anywhere else.
If you want to learn more about Valpolicella wines, click here.
I met Giuseppe one warm June evening 18 years ago. A group of friends and co-workers from Verona travelled up the lush hills to Marano to dine at his excellent restaurant, called Trattoria Da Bepi. Each course of the meal was accompanied by one of Giuseppe’s wines.
We started with his Valpolicella Classico, moved to his Classico Superiore, enjoyed a terrific Amarone with the main dish, and sipped Recioto with dessert. I was hooked.
I have been visiting Giuseppe on a regular basis ever since. I have taken hundreds of friends to his cantina (also to the restaurant) to sample and buy his wines. He offers a rare balance of superior quality and reasonable prices.
In the last few years, Giuseppe’s daughter Silvia has joined her father. She stays busy running the export operations of the wine business and managing the small Bed and Breakfast they have on the property. Giuseppe still manages all of the agricultural process and supervises everything from pressing to bottling every year.
An importer called Small Vineyards brings Giuseppe Lonardi’s products to North America, making them available in wine shops in many major cities.
My Wine Friends Italian Food and wine tours to Verona always include a lunch at Trattoria da Bepi and a tasting tour of Giuseppe’s wines.