Golden in colour, this wine has a fresh, aromatic nose with perfumes of acacia blossom and a touch of dried herbs. On the palate, the Garganega is lively with a rich minerality and a clean, zesty finish.
Alpha Zeta was started in 1999 when Liberty Wines, working with leading New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson, set out to produce a range of modern, fruit driven wines from the hills outside Verona. Our aim was to work with growers (rather than buy bulk wine, which is standard among most wines from Verona at this price) to obtain ripe grapes (by reducing yields and picking later) and then, using Matt's expertise, preserve these flavours in the finished wines. The result is a realisation of the potential inherent in Veronese viniculture.
The vineyards are located at 100-300 meters above sea level in the hills of the Alpone valley, in the commune of Monteforte d'Alpone in eastern Soave. The fruit for this wine is grown in selected old vineyards with excellent south-east exposure, where growers have reduced their yields considerably to produce excellent quality fruit. The soil is made of marl and limestone so the vines are put under stress and produce superior quality fruit. The vines are 20-30 years old on average and are trained using both the traditional Pergola Veronese and Guyot systems.
Garganega is the principal grape of Soave. The vineyards are situated in the hills outside Verona in the Valpantena Valley. Cool breezes blow down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites, which moderates the climate, enabling the grapes to ripen slowly. This means the grapes retain their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is poor and chalky so the vines are put under stress, helping to produce superior quality fruit.
Spring 2021 saw a fair amount of wind and not much sun, which slowed down the ripening process in the grapes. Despite one incidence of hail before the harvest, little damage occurred. The harvest went well, with a good level of ripeness, sugar content and colour achieved in the grapes. The yield overall was slightly lower than average.
The grapes were hand harvested, destemmed, crushed, and chilled on the way to the press with no addition of sulphur. The whole clusters were gently pressed in a pneumatic press and the juice was naturally settled. After racking, cultured yeasts were added to start fermentation, which took place at 12 to 14°C in 1200-hectolitre stainless steel tanks. These relatively low fermentation temperatures helped preserve the fresh fruit character of the grapes. The wine was then aged in the same stainless steel tanks on fine lees until bottling.
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