San Leonardo | Trentino, Italy
For more than 300 years San Leonardo has served as the residence of the Marquis Guerrieri Gonzaga family, its proud custodians. Located in the Vallagarina Valley, the San Leonardo estate is a garden of vineyards and roses. It is protected by the massive barrier of the Alps, which blunt the force of the cold northern winds, while the valley floor benefits from, and in turn releases, warmth from nearby Lake Garda. In the late 1960s' Marquis Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga (1895-1974), a passionate vigneron, passed on to his son Carlo the responsibility of giving a new face to the family farming estate. Working alongside Carlo Ferrini and estate manager Luigino Tinelli quite a few changes ensued in the Trento-based winery’s vineyards: the traditional pergola system was joined by the Guyot method and by spurred cordon, and Carmenère and Merlot, grape varieties that had flourished here for decades if not centuries, gained new neighbours, including Cabernet Sauvignon.
1982 marked the inaugural vintage of San Leonardo and the winery's arrival onto the stage of Italy's most select wine producers. The first oak barrels made their entry into the wine cellar, and winemaking focused no longer on vineyard-grown field blends but on assemblages following tastings in the cellar of the barrel-aged wine lots.
Today, the San Leonardo estate has approximately 50 acres of vineyards planted with international varietals that thrive in the varied microclimates of the estate. The majority of the vineyards are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, but Carmenere, Cabernet Franc and Merlot are also abundant. Cultivation is focused on low yields and highly concentrated grapes. The resulting wines have a great depth, concentration and an aristocratic finesse that can go toe-to-toe against the world’s finest Bordeaux blends.
In 2015 the entire estate was converted to organic agriculture to preserve its precious ecosystem. A number of bee colonies have been introduced onto the estate and solar power accounts for over a third of the estates energy requirements.