Grape Harvest 2021

The ritual of the harvest is, for Tommasi, a yearly appointment that has various starting dates, from August to October, depending on the wineries and production zones in the group: there are no less than six, in the North, Center, and South of Italy.
That is why, for Tommasi, keeping an eye on the prospects for – and progress of – the harvest means monitoring a large part of the country’s wine production scene, with expectations that are obviously linked to the climatic and technical/production-related events of the vintage.

Each vintage is different from the others, and each producer and every grape variety has its prerogatives.
One has to know how to interpret the vintage, understand the characteristics of the grapes one has to work with, and what kind of wine one will be able to make from them.

Would you ever give up a few weeks’ holiday in midsummer and take a break instead during harvest time? And not to go visiting vineyards, but to go and work in one? I don’t think so. Yet, once upon a time, that’s exactly how things happened.

«The period of the harvest was a festive occasion for the whole village,» says Sergio Tommasi, one of the four brothers in the third generation of the family. «Actually, rather than going away, lots of people came and helped out in the fields. The so-called “portarine” came down from the mountains: their job was to take the baskets full of grapes to the end of the vine rows and transfer them into wooden hoppers. There they were weighed and divided up between the sharecropper and the farmer, before being taken for crushing. Today, on the other hand, it is essentially a full-time job. Indeed, not even members of the family can come if they haven’t a specific task to do»: not like years ago, when eight-year-olds accompanied their grandfather when he went to pick the grapes.

«I remember the excitement of going to see what quantity of grapes had been harvested, so that they could then organize the work in the winery» relates Fabio Mecca Paternoster, great-grandson of Anselmo Paternoster and today in charge of winemaking at Paternoster, the iconic producer in the Vulture zone of Basilicata.

That the harvest is a tradition that dates back to the beginning of time is an undeniable fact, at least for purely logical reasons.
Without a harvest it simply wouldn’t be possible to make wine, and all those long rows of vines would remain with the fruit hanging on them until the following year. What has changed is the way in which harvesting is carried out, not only because of technological developments in machinery, but also for reasons connected with climate change.

«Once upon a time, when I was little, the harvest in Valpolicella Classica took place in October. It was cold in the mornings, and sometimes even during the day we had to light a fire to warm our hands. Some years it even snowed», remembers Giancarlo Tommasi, Tommasi’s chief enologist, with a smile. «It lasted 20-25 days in all: today we begin the harvest in mid-September and keep working for well over a month. Quite apart from the fact that we now own a lot more hectares, and that our estates are in various zones, with different types of grapes: from Pinot Grigio, which we usually begin to harvest at the end of August, followed by Turbiana on Lake Garda for our Le Fornaci Lugana, and finally Corvina, the queen of the Valpolicella varieties».

In the past, the harvest was carried out exclusively by hand, whereas today – for some types of grapes – harvesting is mechanized, with the advantage of picking the more sensitive, delicate cultivars at the right stage of ripeness, thus avoiding overripening, which could subsequently have an adverse effect on operations in the winery. It’s a question of balance, and having faith in the weather.

«The timing of certain operations is fundamental to put into practice what we have worked towards throughout the entire year,» says Emiliano Falsini, the chief enologist at Casisano in Montalcino.«A great vintage is one in which you can pick the grapes when they are perfectly ripe and are therefore able to express their variety and terroir of origin to the full».

It is a question of balance, too, for Fabio Mecca Paternoster, who agrees in maintaining that one has to be able to understand when the precise time is for bringing in the grapes to the winery, and that it is possible to establish it by means of frequent tasting and daily analyses.

It is also true, as Giancarlo Tommasi reminds us, that

«if we don’t start off with excellent agronomic management in the vineyard, it is impossible to produce a great wine: you can’t compensate in the winery for what the vineyard hasn’t given you naturally».

Le Fornaci Lugana Riserva, the highest expression of Lake Garda

Tommasi launches its Le Fornaci Lugana Riserva, the maximum expression of wine from Lake Garda

The 2018 Riserva, a perfect combination between grape variety and terroir, completes the Le Fornaci project promoted by the Tommasi family in honor of one of Italy’s top-quality wine zones: Lake Garda

From the very heart of the Lugana denomination – and the vines of the Tommasi family’s Le Fornaci estate at Sirmione near Lake Garda – comes the 2018 Le Fornaci Lugana D.O.C. Riserva, the maximum expression of the Turbiana variety and a flagship for a wine region that is one of finest in our country.

After the 2020 Lugana D.O.C. and  2020 Le Fornaci Rosé, the Le Fornaci project is completed by another great new wine: the 2018 Riserva, an exclusive and complex white wine that reveals the more “lacustrine” and mineral style of Lugana.

«The 2018 Riserva is an elegant yet intense Lugana, which encapsulates the delicate, fresh aromas of Lake Garda: a white that is destined to represent the top quality level of our production and which will be made only in the finest vintages» comments Piergiorgio Tommasi, Sales Director of Tommasi Family Estates. «The Riserva is also a historic wine, capable of expressing the qualities of a unique terroir that our family – for several generations now – has worked hard to highlight: this wine in fact represents the top-of-the-range product of our Le Fornaci project, which we have promoted in the last few years in order to pay homage to the wonderful natural environment of a wine region that is one of the best in Italy, that of Lake Garda. We hope that through this wine, which represents for us a perfect combination between the grape variety and the terroir, all wine lovers may enjoy, together with us, the wonders, scents and flavors of this magnificent area of our country».

Le Fornaci Lugana Doc Riserva 2018 is a substantial white, produced entirely from Turbiana grapes, which matures partly in wood, thanks to which it acquires greater structure and complexity.

A pale yellow in color, with brilliant golden highlights, this Riserva displays a rich bouquet that harmoniously combines fresh, mineral notes with those of ripe yellow fruits. Its concentrated aroma also includes floral and citrusy hints as well as delicate honeyed tones, and it has an elegant aftertaste of vanilla and walnuts. The wine is broad in the mouth, with fresh tangy notes on the end palate. It has a long, intriguing, mouth-filling finish, with crisp acidity and well-balanced structure.

The 2018 Lugana Riserva is a top-quality wine that enhances the typical cuisine of Lake Garda, combining perfectly with freshwater fish, pasta dishes and moderately mature cheeses, but also with meat-based main courses.


The 2018 vintage

Summary: a complicated vintage that however translated into absolutely one of the very best for Lugana.

Harvest: it was possible to obtain excellent ripening thanks to intense work in the vineyards.

Climatological considerations: the winter and spring were very rainy, with a hot summer and particularly dry August; from early September onwards, there were ideal thermal excursions for completing the ripening process.

Agronomic considerations: a good harvest took place on the loamy, sandy soils, which are conducive to developing a larger quantity of aromatic precursors in the grapes.




Vinification and maturation

After manual harvesting and the selection of the finest clusters, a delicate, soft pressing of the whole bunches takes place. Our vinification protocol is very strict: fermentation of 25% of the must in 500-hectoliter French oak barrels and 75% in stainless steel; both wines mature for 18 months, followed by blending of the two, bottling, and 6 months’ bottle-aging.


Le Fornaci Lugana Riserva in figures:

3,327 bottles produced; 1,000 destined for the Italian market.

Summer in Verona: Wine and Opera

Veneto terra di amici, Verona terra d’amore” (“Veneto land of friendship; Verona land of love”) is the chorus of one of an Italian song dedicated to the city of Romeo and Juliet: a place that boasts Roman and romantic, cultural and oeno-gastronomic traditions, which include wine and the Arena.
From the hot nights of June till the mild ones of September, Summer in the Verona area cannot but be spent on the shores of Lake Garda in the company of a glass of Le Fornaci Lugana D.O.C., or in the shade of an umbrella by the pool with a glass of Valpolicella D.O.C., served cool, if possible.
Because there are only two things that the rising temperatures cannot put a stop to: a good bottle of wine and the annual appointment with opera. The latter is a tradition that boasts years and years of huge success, with productions bearing the names of artists like Riccardo Cocciante or Riccardo Muti, whose latest “Aida” opened the 2021 season in Verona’s famous amphitheater. But, to discover its origins, we have to take a step back in time.

It was in 1913 – around the time that Tommasi, too, was beginning to make its name known around the city – that “Aida” brought the wonders of opera onto the stage of the Arena.

«I think that, of all the operas, it’s the one that’s most suited to this venue: it’s hard for anyone not to associate it – as a great visual and vocal event – with the Arena in Verona».

Alberto Gazale, the baritone born at Sassari in Sardinia, smiles on the stage of the Arena as he prepares to sing the part of Amonasro, Aida’s father in Verdi’s opera, 22 years after his debut here in this role. Verona has been his second home, and it is here that he laid the foundations for the enormous success that has led to him performing in the most prestigious theaters in the world, including La Fenice in Venice, La Scala in Milan, the Wiener Staatsoper in Vienna e the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

«Artistically speaking, I was practically born in the Arena, the mother of the art of opera in the Veneto. In 1999 I sang in my first “Aida” here, but in ‘98 I had made my debut in Giuliano Montaldo’s production of Verdi’s “Un ballo in maschera” (“A Masked Ball”), that season’s première. For me, coming back to Verona almost every year is a great source of satisfaction and a great joy».

Meanwhile, the audience are taking their seats for another sold-out performance: Italians, foreigners, couples and single people, adults but also children. For many years now, colored fans have fluttered amid the stalls and glasses of wine have accompanied the show.

«I couldn’t have a home in Valpolicella and not love the great wines of the Veneto and of Verona,» Gazale stresses, «Amarone above all, but also Ripasso, Recioto and all the great historic wines. We might say that wine has a lot in common with art. It is made up of sensations, psychology, connections and emotions, and the liaison of a great wine with a great artistic performance represents a real apotheosis. I have known few well-traveled artists who didn’t also have a passion for wine, which is an extremely deep-rooted part of our culture. It is one of the finest things we know how to do or make».

In the vaults under the Arena, the artists are beginning to prepare for the performance: here you can hear their vocal exercises, while the half- made-up and half-dressed extras run from one end of the corridors to the other. Because, in the Arena, every evening represents a new challenge.

«Choosing a favorite opera is a bit like having to choose between your children. It depends on the director, the conductor; the cast members change, and the same opera can have greater or lesser appeal. But the important thing is especially to love that production, because the strength of an opera is its impromptu nature. Every performance and every evening are different from the rest».

Just as, in the same way, every glass of wine can have a different effect, especially in Valpolicella, where the tasting from Rafaèl Valpolicella Classico Superiore doc, to Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore doc  and Amarone della Valpolicella Classisco docg is an experience of never ending harmony, also evidenced by the excellent reviews of the well-known critic James Suckling.

Restore Earth - #earthday 2021

We have a great responsibility: to give to future generations a healthier and cleaner planet, and – above all, to educate to a more respectful and sustainable approach.

#earthday #Tommasinaturae


Nature and lands that surround us are a great gift, which we must preserve and “restore” or rather try to “restore”.
A deep love for the land has always been at the center of Tommasi’s philosphy. Our mission is to produce quality wines by conserving natural resources whilst preserving biodiversity. From the vineyard to the bottle, there is no quality without sustainability, along with attention and respect for the environment.

We are the witnesses and custodians of it, every day.

Climate change and global warming have made us aware to be respectfull in each part of the winemaking process, from the vineyards to the shipment. For this reason we have favored vineyards located at significant altitudes, which guarantee not only excellent grape quality, which also better tolerate climatic changes.

From the vineyard to the bottle, there is no quality without sustainability, attention and respect for the environment. The commitment continues in the cellar within the technical and structural part of the production: clean energy, attention to saving and reuse, reduction of CO2 emissions and recycling of water.
We put lots of attention also to packaging such as light glass bottles, natural fibers caps and recycled paper for the labels and cardboard boxes.

Last but not least, sustainability is central part of Tommasi team, working in a safe environment and with all the guarantees is key.

«Il nostro desiderio è quello di coltivare la terra in modo lasciare un posto migliore per le generazioni future, perché ne possano godere e perciò vogliamo mantenere un approccio rispettoso della terra. Promuoviamo la gestione sostenibile delle risorse naturali, terra, aria e acqua, e crediamo in metodi equilibrati e integrati. Abbiamo sviluppato un modello per la viticoltura sostenibile, che ci permette di produrre vini dai nostri vigneti in un modo che sia ecologicamente responsabile ed economicamente sostenibile, contribuendo a garantire un futuro a lungo termine della produzione di vini di alta qualità». Giancarlo Tommasi, Enologo

Tommasi Naturae è il percorso ecosostenibile che abbiamo intrapreso, che non punta ad essere soltanto un’ispirazione “green”, ma una filosofia a 360 gradi a cui uniformare l’intera organizzazione aziendale, dalla vigna all’etichetta.

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Primavera: Tommasi Welcome Area è aperta

La cantina di Tommasi nel cuore della Valpolicella Classica ha aperto le porte alla Primavera ed è pronta ad accogliervi con passione ed entusiasmo per offrirvi un’esperienza in tutta sicurezza.

Il nostro territorio circondato di gentili colline e disegnato dai vigneti è pronto a darvi il benvenuto per respirare i colori e i profumi della Valpolicella in uno dei momenti più belli dell'anno, quando i ciliegi ed i peschi sono fioriti e le vigne ricominciano il loro ciclo vegetativo.

La Welcome Area di Tommasi è un luogo accogliente capace di raccontare passato, presente e futuro della famiglia Tommasi.

In esclusiva per questo periodo è possibile ricevere tutta la gamma dei vini Tommasi Family Estates comodamente a casa, in nostri wine specialists sono a disposizione per consigliarvi i migliori abbinamenti.
Scopri QUI i dettagli.

Il nostro Wineshop è aperto dalle 10.00 alle 16.00, dal lunedì al sabato.
Per Verona e provincia è possibile effettuare il ritiro e il pagamento presso il Wine Shop di Pedemonte o in alternativa la consegna al proprio domicilio su appuntamento.

La nostra Welcome Area è un luogo dove sentirsi accolti e protetti.
SCOPRI le nostre proposte di visita e le degustazioni.

Abbiamo predisposto tutte le misure necessarie per tutelare chi ci verrà a trovare, le priorità per noi sono la cura e rispetto per i nostri Ospiti, a salvaguarda della loro salute e comfort.
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