REGION | Veneto
PRACTICES | Certified Organic, Practicing Biodynamic
TERROIR | The Colli Berici are a group of hills (or “colli”) rising up from the alluvial plains south of Vicenza, just east of the Soave region. The hills are part of an ancient seabed, marine fossils mixed with sand and mud several million years old. It’s flat topography is unique in the Veneto, and its most favored vineyard sites are south-facing slopes with high levels of gravel and marine deposits.

Gianfranco Mistrorigo and Marco Dani are the heart and soul of Santa Colomba, a domaine perched on the hills overlooking the small town of Lonigo, half-way between Vicenza and Verona in the heart of the Veneto region.
Santa Colomba was once the property of the Giovannelli, a noble Venetian family, who planted vines and established a natural park around their Villa San Fermo. Later, it was sold to a congregation of priests and turned into a convent, who still own it today. Gianfranco had known this hidden treasure of half-abandoned vines since childhood, waiting for the opportunity to restore them. The convent finally agreed and thus was born Santa Colomba, the only entity permitted to produce wines from this special place.
The two friends immediately set out to convert the entire production of wine to more sustainable methods of farming and cellar practices, in the firm belief that “working in a natural way in this extraordinary environment is a commitment we have made from the start, and a great responsibility we feel we have towards nature.”
Their 8.5 hectares of Cabernet, Merlot, Malvasia, Garganega, Chardonnay and Sauvignon are farmed organically, with some parcels certified and others in the process of obtaining certification. The combination of a sunny, warm aspect and free-draining, mineral-rich soils here is ideal for creating full phenolic ripeness and mineral complexity in the wines.
Work in the cellar is all about letting the wine express the fruit to its full potential: indigenous yeasts, natural fermentation and neutral aging in stainless steel tanks, with the use of small, used French oak barrels for some of the wines. Only very minimal sulfite dosages are added at bottling, making them a darling at Raw Wine, the eponymous natural wine fair. In fact, Gianfranco’s experience reads like a ‘best of’ list of forwardthinking natural wineries and leaders in biodynamics: Tenuta Corte Pavone in Montalcino, Masiero in the valle d’Agno in the Veneto, and his school friend Allesandro Cutolo whose Marangona in Lugana shifted paradigms. Partner Marco Dani has a degree in agriculture, focused on plant pathology. And the Santa Colomba property, still owned by the monks, hosts an agricultural school following the principles of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of biodynamics.


Principiante, IGT Veneto Frizzante

VARIETY | 100% Garganega Pet-Nat

VINEYARDS | 50-year-old vines, Clay-limestone rich in ‘scheletro,’ fine gravel

VINIFICATION | Picked very early, nearly 3 weeks. Soft whole-cluster press, indigenous yeast fermentation in stainless steel at 18-20 degrees, batonnage. Garganega left to dry and pressed in February for Recioto is added, then bottled and left for 2nd fermentation.

ABV | 11.5%

La Mala Via, IGT Veneto

VARIETY | 100% Malvasia

VINEYARDS | Clay-limestone rich in ‘scheletro,’ fine gravel

VINIFICATION | Soft pressing whole-cluster, fermentation in steel at a temperature of 18-20 degrees with indigenous yeasts, batonnage over the course of 90 days

ABV | 12.5%

Oran-Go, IGT Veneto

VARIETY | 100% Garganega

VINEYARDS | 68-year-old vines, clay-limestone rich in ‘schletro,’ fine gravel

VINIFICATION | 10 day maceration on the skins, fermentation with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel, maturation in steel and wood barrels

ABV | 12.5%

Sardone, IGT Veneto

VARIETY | 100% Chardonnay

VINEYARDS | Clay-limestone rich in ‘scheletro,’ fine gravel

VINIFICATION | Stainless Steel vinification, full malolactic, 120 days on lees with batonnage over 60 days

ABV | 12%

Il Moro, IGT Veneto

VARIETY | 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot

VINEYARDS | Clay-limestone rich in ‘scheletro,’ fine gravel

VINIFICATION | The grapes are collected in small crates so that they remain intact, press then fermentation with indigenous yeast in stainless steel, maturation in small 225-liter French oak barrels.

ABV | 12%