Suavia azienda agricola
Where we are
What we do
How we do it
About usMuovi a sinistra Muovi a destra Muovi giù Muovi su
A CAMPAIGN FINANCED ACCORDING TO EC REGULATIONS N. 1234/07
As an old Italian saying goes, "to hoe the ground is even better than fertilize it".
We are now tilling the soil around the vines' base to uncompact and aerate it, besides removing grass.
Meanwhile, the first little bunches peep out through the leaves.
The history of Suavia consists of a castle,
no frog, few princes and lots of princesses.
The castle is the one in Soave:
a heritage from the Middle Ages,
when the town was still called
by the old name of Suavia;
Giovanni and Rosetta’s
four daughters, however,
have been the main
female characters in this story
since the start of the
To write a good story you need a worthy setting and interesting characters.
Our story (the story of a family that has dedicated themselves wholly to the vine and wine) is set in a tiny village, mounted like a precious stone in the high green Soave Classico hills, covered with vines and olives.
Fittà, the village with its old basaltic houses, fountains, little church and sunsets, is the best possible setting imaginable.
Our family, the Tessari family, has lived and worked on this land since the nineteenth century. The history of Suavia however began later, in 1982, when Giovanni and Rosetta (the father and mother), aware of the great potential of their area, decided to set up on their own and make their mark, crushing their grapes and making their own wine.
The history of Suavia consists of a castle, no frog, few princes and lots of princesses. The castle is the one in Soave: a heritage from the Middle Ages, when the town was still called by the old name of Suavia; Giovanni and Rosetta’s four daughters, however, have been the main female characters in this story since the start of the twenty-first century.
Today Meri, Valentina and I (Alessandra) run the winery here in Fittà, where it all started.
“To write a good story you need a worthy setting and interesting characters.” We have all these elements in our story; every day we work as best we can, with sensitivity and honesty to make sure that this story is a really good one to tell and to copy.
I think it is a privilege to be born here;
walking on this strong, black earth,
breathing in this land made up of old vines,
real and simple people and fortifying silence.
This is all I need when I come back
from my business trips. I find all the energy
and passion I need here to go round telling
everyone about my unique and beautiful land.
Wine has always been part of my life.
I was born in October during the 1977 harvest.
It was my first harvest. I grew up in a family
of vine dressers who taught me humility together
with determination when farming the land
and getting its fruits; it was a natural choice
for me to study enology and then to go on
to attend to the family vineyards and cellar.
It is also thanks to wine that I have my husband,
who is also an enologist and with whom
I share my passion for this job.
When I was a little girl I dreamed
of being a restorer, a chemist and a vet.
I even thought about going into journalism
or interior design. Then I went to university
to study Oriental languages and travelled
the world to learn Chinese. A real hotchpotch.
Now I have joined my sisters and I work in wine;
it was a primordial call, a natural return
to my origins. I have come full circle.
... however I still love art, the East, animals,
writing and painting murals.
SUAVIA IS THE ANCIENT NAME FOR SOAVE. IN FACT, SOAVE BY NAME, SOAVE (SUAVE) BY NATURE. THIS NAME CONTAINS OUR DESTINY, BECAUSE SOAVE IS EVERYTHING WE DO. OUR ROOTS REACH DEEP DOWN INTO THIS BLACK SOIL THAT FEEDS OUR GREAT WHITE WINES. OUR WINES ARE MADE FROM THIS CONTRAST AND FROM THE HARMONY THAT COMES FROM THE UNION OF OPPOSITES. WE SPECIALISE IN SOAVE AND, LIKE ALL PROFESSIONALS, WE DO NOTHING ELSE. WE ARE STAUNCH WHITE-WINE MAKERS, OR RATHER STAUNCH SOAVE MAKERS.
We live and work in paradise.
Up in the hills at a height of three hundred metres,
surrounded by nothing but nature, every corner
of this place gives you a breathtaking view.
Here the night is really night.
Whether we are in the cellar, the tasting room
or the offices, all we have to do is look up to keep
contact with that nature that inspires us, teaches us
humility and to never lose sight of our origins,
the essential element: the land.
Only Native Grapes
We only grow the two native
varieties of Soave in our vineyards:
Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave.
Two white grapes that have lived
in our hills for centuries, the undisputed
masters of the house in this area that
we have come to know well. Vines
that are living testimonies of an ancient
tradition that must be preserved:
those planted by our grandfathers
are now more than seventy years old
and are the hard-earned heritage
of entire generations.
Only native grapes
There are some theories that suggest an Etruscan origin for this grape variety; in fact the distinctive pergola-trained vines were initially experimented by the Etruscans and then spread to most of northeast Italy. However, the similarity and the presumed vicinity of this variety to other Italian varieties, such as Grecanico in southern Italy, suggest a Greek origin. Direct literary sources bear witness to the existence of Garganega already in the eleventh century.
Presence in the area:
It is the most widespread white grape variety in the provinces of Verona and Vicenza. It is not as difficult to grow as Trebbiano di Soave and has become very popular thanks to its generous yield. Garganega is endowed with an innate delicacy and refinement and, if it is grown properly in the hilly areas most suited to it, it has firm minerals and good taste structure.
The bunch is moderately vigorous, with more or less prominent wings and quite long. The berry is rather large, although the size can be affected by the type of subsoil and microclimate, giving rise to decidedly small berries.
It is one of the late-ripening white grape varieties: it is picked well into October, more like a red variety.
TREBBIANO DI SOAVE
For Gallesio (1817-1839) and Di Rovasenda (1877), describing and listing the various Trebbiano grapes in Italy was “a job as hard to give up as it is to finish”. In fact in almost every part of Italy there are grape varieties that bear the name of Trebbiano, usually together with a place name. Trebbiano di Soave is probably the ancient Turbiana, which was already mentioned in the 1500s and also known as Trebbiano Veronese.
Presence in the area:
After the Second World War (given its poor yield and early ripening compared to Garganega), Trebbiano di Soave was replaced by the more productive Trebbiano Toscano and only remained in modest quantities in very few vineyards in the hills. Today, thanks to our winery’s collaboration with the University of Milan, this ancient variety has been brought back and replanted at Fittà on a surface area of 2.5 hectares.
Trebbiano di Soave has a lot of features in common with Verdicchio and Trebbiano di Lugana, however it differs from these by its minute and compact bunch, with small delicate-skinned berries. It stands out for its good acidity and sapidity.
Looking after the land
Copper-red, black and grey are the
colours of this volcanic soil studded
with basalt that is the great protagonist,
the main theme running through all our wines.
Therefore we pay it the utmost respect
and attention: we put all our energy
into meticulous work in the vineyard,
which keeps us busy all year round
and helps us create more harmonious i
nteraction between our work and
that of the surrounding nature.
Looking after the land
The winery’s twelve hectares of vineyards are right in the middle of the Classico area of the Soave appellation, in the important crus of Fittà, Carbonare, Castellaro and Tremenalto. It is an area made up of volcanic hills at a high altitude, no less than 250 m above sea level. Here the microclimate in the hills is cooler than in the plain areas of Soave and there is a wide diurnal temperature range and a high number of hours of sunlight due to the excellent exposure offered by the hills; all these features hugely benefit the vines.
The soil itself is an added value: it is a volcanic soil originating from the intense volcanic activity that occurred under the sea during the middle Eocene epoch (about 50 million years ago), when the climate was tropical at our latitude and the vegetation was like in a rainforest. The rocks that you can still see today are basaltic and volcanic and were formed by the effect of the sudden cooling of magma under the sea and on the ground.
So it is a very ancient soil, with totally unique chemical and physical properties among Italian vine-growing regions. It is an extremely evolved soil with complex structural characteristics, with minerals (particularly iron, magnesium and manganese) found very deep down and presenting a marked alteration. Through the centuries, man’s work has helped to guarantee an excellent nutritional and hydrological ratio between this soil rich in mineral components and the vine that continues to interact in a complete and dynamic way.
The work carried out by man plays a very important role in the management of both the vineyard and the natural surrounding landscape, which is made up of elements that must be considered individually and duly taken care of in order to preserve the harmony created by their unity, i.e. that of nature itself.
Being aware of this, we can claim that our vineyard management is not a short-sighted one limited to the wellbeing of the vines alone, but it safeguards the landscape in its entirety.
This commitment is reflected in several examples of good environmental practice:
• crop diversification. The vineyard mustn’t just be monoculture or planted intensively all over, so our vineyards are interrupted or delimited by olives or other trees. Some of our plots of land are completely set aside for woods and olive trees.
• Manual pruning. The vines undergo two different kinds of pruning during the year: winter and summer pruning (also called “trimming”). Both are done by hand, so every vine is considered and studied individually, not methodically. Every plant is pruned according to its own vigour so as to maintain a balance between vegetation and production and to create the best microclimate for ripening the grapes.
• Use of natural products. We do not use synthetic fertilizers or insecticides out of respect for the native flora, the healthiness of the ground water and for the different species of insects present in the fields.
• Grassing over. The planting of grasses between rows of vines and on the banks favours the vitality of the soil itself and avoids hill erosion, thus keeping its morphology intact.
Total hectares: 155
Hectares of vineyards: 70
Position: summit – slope
Exposure: south, east and west
Altitude: 64-312 m
Fittà is a village in the municipality of Soave at 300 metres above sea level, in the heart of the Classica area. Thanks to the altitude, Fittà has a wide diurnal temperature range in summer and constant ventilation. The hills in this area are made up of soil of clear volcanic origin, with basalt ground layers and a clay-silt texture; the slopes of the hills range between 10 to 30%.
In the Cru of Fittà there are some of our vineyards whose grapes are used to make Soave Classico and also one of our oldest vineyards, Le Rive, with a southern exposure and planted entirely with Garganega, with the traditional pergola veronese training system. Also in the Fittà area there are the new Guyot-trained Trebbiano di Soave vineyards whose grapes are used to produce Massi Fitti.
Total hectares: 35
Hectares of vineyards: 28
Exposure: east and northeast
Altitude: 120-280 m
The name of this cru refers to the distinctive colour of the soil: “as black as coal.” In fact, the soil is dark and deep with a clayey soil texture, not calcareous, strongly volcanic and made up of altered and compact basaltic rocks. The area is frequently ventilated and generally cool. Here there are some of the oldest vineyards in the whole of the Classica area. In Carbonare, the slopes of the hills range between 10 and 30%.
The Monte Carbonare vineyard is in the highest part of this area and cultivated with sixty-year-old Garganega vines.
Total hectares: 35
Hectares of vineyards: 30
Exposure: south, east and west
Altitude: 140-260 m
Castellaro is the name of a volcanic cone situated in the north of the Classica area. Here basaltic stones abound and the soil texture is moderately fine. The high altitude and the exposure guarantee constant ventilation and long hours of sunlight. The slopes range between 15 and 40%.
The best Garganega grapes for making our Recioto di Soave come from this vineyard on the summit of the mountain.
Total hectares: 87
Hectares of vineyards: 75
Position: summit – slope
Exposure: east and north
Altitude: 57-230 m
This northernmost part of the Classica area is distinctive for its dark and deep soil of volcanic origin. The heaven-sent, cool northern winds run through Tremenalto and are important for the wellbeing of the vines during summer and the hottest years. The slopes of these hills are generally steep (20-35%).
The grapes for making Soave Classico are grown in the steep vineyards in this area.
To do work of a vine dresser
you have to get your hands dirty.
It is a physical, manual job
in contact with the fundamental
material for our work. In our cellar
this contact takes place with delicacy,
gently. We turn grapes into wine
in a non-invasive way, fully exploiting
the powerful tools that nature puts
at our disposal, such as gravity and
The cellar is modern and efficient. It was designed to produce exclusively white wines and to get the best out of our native grapes.
The cellar is in the hills around Fittà, at 296 metres above sea level and was designed in a rustic architectural style, suitable for the surrounding wine-producing environment and landscape. It is laid out on three floors, one above the other, which allows us to make the best use of gravity so as to keep movement of the musts and wines to a minimum. It was built in 1990 and then extended in 1998, 2004 and 2008.
The ground floor
On this floor there is the manor house, which was built in 1887 and where our family still lives today. In the courtyard, the great scenic portico has been recently renovated and is used as a tasting room and offices.
Next to it there is the entrance square, where grapes are received during the harvest.
Basement level I
Here there is the area for crushing grapes, equipped with a pneumatic press for soft pressing and maceration of whole or destemmed grapes, designed to make the best use of the force of gravity. On the same level there is also the bottling and packing area, endowed with technologically cutting-edge equipment that allows us to preserve the quality of the wines, such as the innovative membrane filtration system.
There is an external porticoed area with large south-facing open space windows, which is the grape-drying area designed for the natural drying of grapes thanks to the excellent hillside climate. At the critical time of drying grapes naturally, the modern dehumidifying system comes to our aid. This area can house up to 200 quintals of grapes, laid out in crates for five months a year.
Basement level II
This level is below ground and so particularly suitable for ageing and preserving wines thanks to the natural temperature, which is constantly monitored by an automatic air-conditioning system.
Here there is the vinification area where the must ferments at a controlled temperature in AISI 361 stainless steel tanks of various sizes equipped with cooling pockets.
After the first racking, the wines are kept in contact with their fine lees so as to achieve optimum maturation.
Next door is the barrique cellar where the medium-toast French oak barriques (capacity: 225 l) are used for fermentation and ageing of Soave Classico Le Rive and Recioto di Soave Acinatium. 20% of the barriques are new wood and are used for an average of 3-4 years.
The same area also houses the old vintages that are preserved to let the wines evolve and to assess their ageing potential, laid down at a natural temperature of 13-16°C with 70% humidity.
On the same floor there is the maturing area where all the bottles are laid down in foldable baskets for an ageing period that varies depending on the type of wine (from 3-15 months).
Every time they are different, often unpredictable and always unique.
The vintages follow one another consistently and are carefully preserved. They are the result of the alternating of the seasons and the rhythms of nature that are never the same: we do nothing other than follow them trustingly, changing our plans every time the weather changes.