Meet and taste with Nadia Zenato at Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience Oct. 17-19

We’ve just learned that Nadia Zenato will be pouring Zenato and Sansonina wines at the Wine Spectator “New York Wine Experience” tasting October 17-19 at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square.

The annual New York Wine Experience is one of the most prestigious tasting events in the U.S. Each year, the magazine’s editors select nearly 300 of their top-rated wineries to participate — by invitation only. This year, Zenato will be one of 273 wineries pouring and talking about their wines.

Click here for ticketing information.

And click here to view the list of this year’s wineries.

It’s a veritable who’s-who of European and American wine royalty!

Image via the Wine Spectator Facebook.

Harvest 2019 has begun at Zenato and Sansonina (why hand-picking is key)

The grape harvest in Verona province is one of the most beautiful sights you’ll ever see. Nothing can compare, visually, to the picturesque, fully ripe grape bunches on the vine being picked.

But beyond the cinematic, harvest is also the most important moment in the vines’ vegetative cycle. It’s at this moment that the quality of wines the vintage will be set in stone.

The grape grower needs to pick at just the right moment to ensure that the balance between sugar and acidity is perfect. As important as vineyard management and winemaking are, it’s this decision that will determine the ultimate caliber of the wine.

Those are some of the first grapes to be picked in Valpolicella Classica above (you can see more on the Zenato Facebook here).

As you can see in the image, the grapes for Zenato and Sansonina wines are picked by hand. And as any great winemaker will tell you, hand-picking is key in this extremely important moment of the grape’s life, so to speak.

In order to make great wine, the winemaker needs the fruit to arrive in the cellar as pristine as possible. If the skins of the grapes break before fermentation begins, it can cause major problems down the line. Keeping those clusters intact is a top priority for the pickers, who place them gently into crates that are then transported to the winery.

Grape picking is labor-intensive, exhausting work. But it’s thanks to the diligent pickers that the berries will make to the fermentation vats in perfect condition. Without their hard work and care, the entire year’s work would be moot.

James Suckling tastes with Nadia Zenato

Yesterday, celebrated American wine writer James Suckling paid a visit to the Zenato winery in Peschiera del Garda where he and Nadia Zenato tasted a vertical flight of the estate’s Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva.

That’s James, seated left, with Nadia in the winery’s underground tasting and aging room.

An acclaimed journalist and wine writer, James is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of American wine journalism. He was among the first writers to join the staff at the then nascent Wine Spectator in the early 1980s when the publication just had a handful of subscribers.

Just a few short years later, the magazine sent him to live in Paris where he set up its first European tasting office.

It was only natural that the magazine would expand its coverage to include French and Portuguese wines. But it was Suckling’s embrace of Italian wine that marked an epochal shift in how consumers perceived wines from Italy.

James would ultimately relocate to Italy where he became a prolific writer on the country’s wines and one of their first high-profile champions. Perhaps more than any other writer from his generation, James literally put Italy “on the map” of the world’s fine wines.

He recent years, he’s branched out beyond the wine writing world, expanding his work as a philanthropist and film producer.

He’s also a big fan of Zenato’s Amarone. Here’s what he had to say in his most recent review of the Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva:

    Zenato 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella Cl. Ris. Sergio Zenato
    99 points

    This is a huge and impressive wine, but somehow graceful and subtle. It packs an eclectic array of brambleberry compote, violet essence, eucalyptus, oyster shell, pure iodine, vanilla, resin, tar, cassis, plum liqueur and hot stones. You can only stand back in awe as one shade of fruit appears after the next and a barrage of tannin coats your mouth. Yet, this is gentle, agile and flowing. Nevertheless, its main attraction remains its unashamed, monumental power and muscularity. A haunting wine that sends chills down your spine. An epoch-defining wine for Veneto that harks back to the legends of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Perhaps the best Amarone ever made.