Pieropan’s estate covers 58 hectares of vineyard which are situated on the stony hills of Soave Classico. The Pieropan family has been producing wines in Soave since the 1890s. Indeed, they were the first producer to bottle a wine with the name Soave on the label in the early 1930s. Nino Pieropan took over from his father in 1970 and was the first producer in Soave to make a single-vineyard wine, ‘Calvarino’, in 1971. Nino’s two sons, Andrea and Dario, took over the running of the estate in 2017 when Nino fell ill and before he passed away in April 2018. From the 2015 vintage onwards, all Pieropan wines are organically certified.
The grapes were grown in the vineyard of ‘La Rocca’, which takes its name from the adjacent medieval castle and fortress (La Rocca) that dominated the town of Soave, just east of Verona. The soil in La Rocca is unique in Soave in that it is a limestone outcrop (the same soil as in Valpolicella Classico) in a sea of basalt. Because of this soil, the family feels they get sufficient ripeness in the Garganega to make a wine solely from this variety.
The selection of the grapes is made in the vineyard, before arriving in the cellar. After gentle, whole-bunch pressing using a nitrogen press, there was a short period of maceration on the skins followed by fermentation at 20ºC in stainless steel tanks and 500 litre oak casks. 60% of the wine remained in 500-litre oak casks while the remaining 40% was aged in 2,000 litre ‘botti’ or large barrels for one year. The wine was then aged for four months in bottle before release.
‘La Rocca’ is golden yellow in the glass, with intense, concentrated perfumes that follow through to the palate. On the nose, classic La Rocca aromas of nuts and exotic fruits lead to an elegant and beautifully balanced palate, with notes of spice and a long finish. The long finish has a light mineral edge.
Goes well with clams and gnocchi, squid ink linguini, scallops, mushroom risotto, breaded camembert (French cows cheese) cannelloni with ricotta, Caprese salad (Italian Insalata Caprese), crab cassolette or creamed mushrooms