Sipping Santi: Classic Italian Wines with Contemporary Finesse

From by Wanda Mann
Sipping Santi: Classic Italian Wines with Contemporary Finesse

Cristian Ridolfi is guiding Italy's historic Santi winery towards the future.

When your winery's origins can be traced back to 1843, tradition isn't just a catchphrase - it's a way of life. But Crisitian Ridolfi, director of winemaking at Santi, knows that tradition without innovation can lead to irrelevance and he is firmly guiding the winery towards the future.


Ridolfi and his team at Santi are committed to respecting the ways of the past while making changes without fear. Situated in the heart of Italy's acclaimed wine growing zones in the Veneto near Lake Garda, Santi has modernized their winery and is experimenting with new techniques to produce the very best expressions of their classic wines. The proof is in the sip and from a vibrant Pinot Grigio to a luxurious Amarone, the Santi wines that I tasted with Cristian impressed me with their elegance and modernity.

Santi Sortesele Pinot Grigio and Infinito Rosé both paired beautifully with this seafood salad at TBar Steak & Lounge in Manhattan. 

With so much lackluster Pinot Grigio flooding the market, getting excited about this ubiquitous white wine can be a challenge, but I am happy to report that Santi Sortesele Pinot Grigio 2015 ($16) has flavor and personality! Aromas of pears, exotic fruits, and wildflowers wafting from the glass let you know that Sortesele is no bland Pinot Grigio. On the palate, this luscious vino is juicy and full with lively acidity and a lovely lingering finish. 


Santi Infinito Rosé 2015 ($15) is a delicious reminder that Rosé isn't just for the summer. A blend of Corvina (65%), Rondinella (30%), and Molinara (5% ); Infinito balances ripe flavors of cherries & blackcurrants with savory herbal notes that make it a great match with everything from seafood to pasta. 

Santi Solane Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC 2013 ($17)
Made in the ripasso method, this blend of Corvina (70%) and Rondinella (30%) gets an extra boost of richness when grape skins and pomace from Santi's Amarone are added to the vats to trigger a second fermentation. The end result is an extremely delicious, medium-bodied, dry red wine with soft tannins and flavors of ripe cherries balanced by a touch of spice and earth. 


Santi Amarone della Valpolicella DOC 2011 ($49)
Ah, Amarone, there is no other wine quite like it. Santi harvests the grapes when they reach full ripeness and then dries them for about 3 months to increase the sugar content and concentration of flavors. Amarone is by nature a rich and intense wine but Santi Amarone also displays grace and vibrancy. A blend of Corvina (65%), Rondinella (30%), and Molinara (5%), Santi Amarone cloaks the palate with velvety flavors of plums, figs, cinnamon, cloves, and a touch of toasted almonds. A perfect wine to pair with rich roasts & meats and to share with someone special on a chilly night. 

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