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    Grapevarieties

    Inside the ancient walls of the Estate we have always cultivated the following international varieties; Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. In the north of our region however, we cultivate the Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.

    Vinetraining

    We employ several vine training systems on the Estate, from the traditional Pergola Trentina, to the Guyot and Spurred Cordon, selecting each method according to the terrain and position in the vineyard in order to allow the vine to give the best possible expression of terroir.

    OurCarmenère

    San Leonardo’s famous Carmenère was introduced to the estate at the end of the 1800s and while it adapted perfectly it was mistakenly called Cabernet Franc as in other areas in Italy. For many years its presence remained unknown to us, until in the 1980s it was finally identified thanks to the work of Prof. Attilio Scienza.

    Today, thanks to mass selections, we continue to preserve this varietal which gives such great identity to all our red wines.


    TheSeasons

    All four seasons are fundamental for a vine’s life cycle.

    The winter is the moment of rest for the vine; it is the time for pruning and when snowfall is always a gift, as the old Italian proverb goes “Under snow there is bread, under the rain hunger”.

    The snow in fact insulates the vine roots without freezing them and keeps them from drying out during the long winter.


    The vineyards are approximately 30 hectares in total, sited at a relatively low elevation of 150 metres. The merlot is planted in gravel-rich soils that were once the bed of a branch of the Adige. Sandier, pH-neutral soils, at elevations of 150-200 metres, host cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and the venerable carmenère vineyards.
    All of the vineyards are in well-drained, nutrient-poor soils that yield grapes whose wines boast levels of anthocyanins that are unusually high, and not just for Trentino.
    So distinctive is this feature that this area, once called Campi Sarni, should have its own officially recognised identity.
    Grapevines have been growing in Campi Sarni since 900 AD, but everything changes, and today San Leonardo’s viticultural philosophy dictates vine-rows that follow the contours of the slopes, in order to capture as much sunlight as possible.
    Vine densities vary according to the period in which the vineyards were planted and to the training system.
    Vineyards trained to Guyot and to spurred cordon have 6,600 vines per hectare, and yield a maximum for 60 quintals per hectare, while those trained to the Trentino double pergola are at 1,750 per hectare, which includes the carmenère. To yield really top-quality fruit, this variety needs severe pruning, which limits the crop to no more than 90 quintals per hectare.