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In the hills above Lake Garda is the smallholding of Graziano Lorenzini, Garda Natura, (www.gardanatura.it) where he and his wife Ivana have been producing wine and entertaining guests since 2005. From just less than a hectare of land this industrious man produces around 10,000 bottles of wine a year. He also produces wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and grappa.
His is a winery in miniature consisting of four 1,000 litre steel tanks but, as with everything else, Graziano maximises potential and minimises waste. He makes two wines both from the same blend of 60% Corvina, 30% Rondinella with the balance made up from Molinara and Rossara grapes.
The first of his DOC wines is a Chiaretto called Marciaga and this is a rosé. This wine is made from the first of two harvests and Graziano leaves the must on the skins for just six hours to produce the colour which is a very attractive bright copper. On the nose there are cherries and wild roses with a somewhat surprising peach and green apple in the mouth. The acidity is light and pleasant.
His second DOC wine is a Bardolino, also called Marciaga, and is red. In producing this, Graziano stays true to his philosophy of wasting nothing. He ferments this on the skins of the Chiaretto, in a ripasso style. This gives the wine a deep garnet colour with cherries and raspberry on the nose and on the palate the tannins are soft and the wine is dry with almost a hint of pink pepper. As well as his two headline wines he also makes four IGT wines, two rosé, one red and one white.
If you visit Lake Garda, and you should for it is very beautiful, make a point of seeking out Graziano and his little oasis of self-sufficiency but don’t be in a hurry. Relax, breathe it all in, and enjoy a meal made from the produce growing all around you, in either the restaurant or the garden. You will not be disappointed.