The name of the place is “località Tugurio” (hovel in english), and it definitely does not do justice to a road among the most beautiful in the Garda hinterland. We are in the municipality of Lonato, a few hundred meters from the magnificent Maguzzano Abbey, on a strip of asphalt that divides in two an evocative rural scenario hidden in parallel to the traffic of the road that leads from Desenzano to Salò: those who usually drive on this street will probably have noticed the recent appearance of some signs, marked by a classic symbol such as the Rose of the Winds, to signal a wine company almost hidden in the surrounding countryside. But do not think about a new winery: because the Saottini farm has existed since 1917. A long family history, which began when Maria Bettinazzi acquired this strip of land on the shores of Lake Garda to bring her husband back from the war. Two oxen and a horse to plow the land, cultivation of fodder for the breeding of cows and calves, some small plot of vine. The seasons have followed one another until the first century of activity: an anniversary that, at the end of last year, marked the relaunch of the activity, in which Daniele Saottini, member of the last generation, decided to put his heart, hands and soul, convinced (definitely not wrongly) of the interesting potential of a reality that now counts 8 hectares of vines, and other 6 still cultivated for arable land. Which, in perspective, could go to expand a vineyard where the average age of plants is at least thirty years.
“We are not very well known, but we’re not the latest in the world of Garda wine – says Daniele -. We have always been on market, selling bulk wine, and bottling since 2004. But now we have started to change pace. We started with 5 thousand bottles, now we have come to 25.000, with a significant growth especially in the last four years and a strong jump in the last two, when we also gave a new direction to production “.
The Rose of the Winds symbol is not accidental as the wines of Daniele Saottini all bear the name of as many Garda typical Garda winds: so here is the Pelèr igp Rosso Benaco Bresciano (Rebo Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), the Ander (a Riviera Garda Classico Groppello ), Vinessa (Benaco Bresciano Merlot). On the whites side here comes the Lugana Candrì, and the Gherbì sparkling wine, 95% Turbiana, 5% Chardonnay.
“But for the centenary – says Daniele – we have produced two new labels, which have become a bit ‘the spearheads of our range: they are called Berenice and Bifolco, from the name of two constellations visible only on Garda. Respectively, a Benaco Bresciano Bianco of 2015 (99% Turbiana, 1% Sauvignon, left on noble lees for a year) and a Red always 2015, (Rebo 85, Merlot 10, Cabernet 5, with grapes harvested after a light withering in the plant ) “.
Very interesting wines, ambitious wines, like the Ander, Groppello in purity that in the year 2015 has flown to a 14.5% alcohol content while maintaining a surprising fruit and freshness, or the Candri, a definitely interesting Lugana, capable of impose itself in the glass with an undeniable, long, persistent, deep personality, without a doubt Saottini’s strong point of reference to represent about 50% of the production with vineyards located in the Centenaro area.
“The goal is to grow again, 10 thousand bottles a year, to get to 50 thousand – Daniele says -. The sale? For 80% directly, we are building a small network of agents, but we are already in the catering sector, even if not in a capillary way, but the name begins to spread thanks to this change of image, to the presence on social media to spread our philosophy “. The Saottini winery is always open for visits and tastings: info and reservations at 030-9130801