Sister Eve, Sister Moon: The story behind the name Evaluna

Nadia Zenato and her mother Carla Prospero, owners of the Sansonina estate, are both iconic women winemakers in their own right.

Each of them have lived and worked in an Italian wine world that was once dominated almost exclusively by men. But today, things are different: There are more prominent women winemakers in Italy than every before. And the current generation of Italian winemakers — Nadia’s generation — is driven in great part by women like her who have stepped up to lead their families’ wineries.

As two of the most famous women in Italian wine, they love to celebrate their family by drawing from historical references to women in literature and culture (including viticulture).

Just recently, here on the blog, we wrote about how the name Sansonina might have been inspired by the legend of a resilient woman who lived on their farm many decades before they acquired it in the 1990s.

And so it was only natural that the Sansonina estate’s second wine would also allude to a historic woman and a symbol of women and femininity: Evaluna, a portmanteau of Eva (meaning Eve, as in Eve and Adam) and luna (meaning moon in Italian).

When Nadia and Carla decided to revive an old Merlot vineyard and plant Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc on this historic estate, their neighbors didn’t exactly think they were crazy. But they wondered why the two women wanted to produce red wines in a land known primarily for its whites (the Lugana appellation to the south of Lake Garda).

And so Evaluna also represented a new “beginning” for the mother-and-daughter team, just as Eve was the first woman in western literature.

The moon, on the other hand, also represents the seasons and the cycles of life, key elements in the development and evolution of the great wines of the world.

Click here to read more about Evaluna, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, a red from the land of whites.

Celebrity chef Gianfranco Vissani celebrates 40 years with Zenato wines

That’s the main dining room at the legendary CasaVissani in Terni province (Umbria) where celebrity chef Gianfranco Vissani will be celebrating his restaurant’s 40th anniversary tonight with a series of menus highlighting his top dishes from four decades.

Click here to view the incredible line up.

Chef Vissani will also be serving a number of his favorite wines at the event, including the Zenato Cresasso, made from 100 percent Corvina Veronese (it’s one of our favorites, too!).

Congratulations, chef Vissani, on 40 wonderful years! And happy summer vacation, everyone!

11th annual Lugana Riserva Sergio Zenato Golf Tournament September 15

The Zenato winery’s 11th-annual Lugana Riserva Sergio Zenato Golf Tournament will take place on Sunday, September 15 on Lake Garda at the Golf Club Paradiso di Garda Resort and Hotel.

Nadia Zenato and her mother Carla Prospero (above, center from left) will be there.

More than 100 golfers are expected to compete at this much-anticipated event, which takes place right before harvest when the beauty of Lake Garda and surrounding countryside are unrivaled.

Needless to say, Sansonina, as well as many other top wines by Zenato, will be served.

Click here to learn more and for registration details (open to all).

What is a “green harvest”? And why is it so important in the production of fine wine?

Those are Turbiana (Trebbiano di Lugana) clusters in Zenato’s Lugana DOC vineyards in Peschiera del Garda (photo taken this week).

The vineyard workers have just completed an important task known as “green harvest” or “green harvesting.” Also known in California winespeak as “dropping fruit,” the practice calls for the workers to prune and “drop” healthy clusters of fruit, discarding them.

Why would a winemaker “drop” perfectly good fruit?

By eliminating clusters, the vineyard manager forces the plants (the vines) to focus their energy on the remaining bunches. As a result, their flavor will become more robust. The technique is vital to producing top-quality wines.

This approach wasn’t always the standard in appellations like Lugana. In early years of the appellation’s modernization, the old farmhands would throw up their hands: Why would someone throw away so much good fruit? they would ask. In another, winemakers were looking for volume not quality. But that all changed when pioneers like Sergio Zenato began producing some of Italy’s best white wines in the 1970s and 80s. And that tradition continues today.

The 2018-2019 vegetative cycle has been a challenging one. But as you can see in the photo above, the clusters are looking good and the Zenato vineyard manager is very pleased with the overall quality of the fruit. We’ll be following the 2019 harvest here on the Sansonina blog. The 2019 harvest is expected to be a great one. Stay tuned!

Sansonina Lugana

Sansonina Lugana is made from grapes grown in the gentle hills that lie to the south of Lake Garda where the subsoils date back to the Tertiary Period and where the proximity to a body of water creates ideal conditions for fine wine production. Sourced from vines planted more than 40 years ago, this highly distinctive wine has a wonderful balance between the freshness of its floral notes and its mineral complexity.

“Here at the Sansonina winery, we are blessed to have a tight-knit and enthusiastic team whose members are as passionate as they are motivated. When you listen to your heart, it will always show you the way to greatness.”

Carla and Nadia

Sansonina Evaluna featured in the July “Summer” issue of La Cucina Italiana

Here’s what the editors of La Cucina Italiana had to say about the 2016 Sansonina EvaLuna, one of the wines featured in the magazine’s July “summer” issue and of the editors’ picks for top warm weather wines.

    Sansonina 2016 Garda Cabernet Evaluna
    With its aromas of raspberry, black currant, and pepper, this wine can also be served chilled [in summer]. It’s great with meatballs but you can also try pairing it with spaghetti tossed with fresh herbs.

Founded in 1922, La Cucina Italiana is the “National Geographic” of Italian gastronomy and is widely considered one of the leading resources in Italy for wine and pairing recommendations, not to mention its editors’ prolific recipe collection and cooking tips. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be featured in this prestigious publicaton!

Italy “world’s best wine country” according to recent survey

Above: Grapes being dried for the production of Amarone.

According to the results of a consumer survey published by the popular wine trade magazine Drinks Business this week, Italy is the “best wine country” in the world.

“Italy has been ranked as the best country in the world for wine lovers,” report the editors, “beating France and Spain.”

“Italy emerged victorious due to the abundance of wine tasting experiences on offer throughout its 21 wine regions running from the top to the bottom of its boot.”

Italy prevailed over other countries “due to its higher number of consumer wine experiences and having a larger number of wineries open to the public.”

Click here to read the entire results of the survey.