Corvina is one of three red varieties native to Italy’s northeast Veneto region that provide the basis for three very different wines: bold, complex Amarone; juicy, mediumbodied Valpolicella; and lighter Bardolino. In the last century, industrialization took over much of Veneto’s vineyards; quality went down as yields, aided by chemical fertilizers and mass processing, went up. In the last few decades, a counter movement, led mostly by small, qualityfocused vintners has taken hold. Tenuta Sant’Antonio is a terrific example of the latter.
This family estate belongs to the four Castagnedi brothers—Armando, Paolo, Tiziano and Massimo. From a long family of grapegrowers, the siblings came together in 1989 to create their own estate winery. They planted 72 acres of vines on Monte Garbi, a rocky, chalky mountain that’s challenging to farm but that produces intense, uniquely flavored grapes. While most Veneto bottlings come from large companies that buy fruit and juice from all over, the Castagnedis source fruit only from their parents’ vineyard and from their own low-yielding vines, which are handpicked (another rarity in the Veneto).