Elisabetta took over her family estate when she was just 20 years old, after the sudden passing of her father. In the region of Trentino, where roughly 80% of wine is produced by cooperatives, Foradori was producing fairly nondescript table wine. But Elisabetta soon decided to do things differently.
She changed the viticulture by using massale selection for new plantings. This meant selecting cuttings from their best vines to propagate new vines, instead of using nursery clones. In 2002, she began converting the estate to biodynamics, becoming certified in 2009. She has now passed the baton to her children, with her son Emilio in charge of the winemaking and viticulture, Theo on the business side, and daughter Myrtha establishing their polyculture farm.
The grape varieties are indigenous to the area. Manzoni Bianco, a cross of Riesling and Pinot Bianco, is full of bright green fruits, herbs, and minerals. Nosiola, a unique and incredibly difficult grape to grow, is subtle and textured, with citrus and a touch of hazelnut. The Pinot Grigio is the only wine made from grapes not grown on the estate – it spends eight months on the skins in amphorae and is one of our favourite ‘orange’ wines, with its lovely fruitiness and juicy intensity.
Teroldego, representing about 75% of the production, is the grape Foradori has become famous for. The flagship wine, Granato, is arguably the most sought-after red wine from the region and shows the heights that Teroldego can reach. Coming from 65 to 80-year-old vines, it is fermented with 40% whole clusters, macerated by submerged cap, and aged in large neutral oak foudre. It is a ripe and powerful wine, with wonderfully deep fruit and incredible length – truly one of Northern Italy’s great wines.
The entry-level Teroldego is delicious, with concentrated juicy black fruits. The Morei and Sgarzon are single-vineyard Teroldego wines aged on their skins in amphorae for nine months. The Morei, from a warm and rocky site, is structured with blue fruits and minerals. From a cooler sandy site, Sgarzon is more supple and elegant.
Every one of the Foradori wines are a masterclass in quality, elegance, and attention to detail.
“These are wines that communicate such purity and prestige from top to bottom. It’s easy to forget the amazing value to be found in their Teroldego, as well as the fact that the Morei, Fontanasanta and Sgarzon are all refined in amphorae, a practice that’s still not widely accepted, and that the power of today’s Granato comes from the grape and the terroir over winemaking.” – Eric Guido, Vinous, November 2020