I know, I know, it took long enough as many of you have been asking about these wines for months. So I finally present to you the new vintage of the one, the legendary, the only: Elizabeth Foradori...the crowd goes wild!!!!!
There are many reasons why the wines of Elizabeth Foradori receive the kind of accolades and attention that they do, with incremental public attention gained every year. I would say, first and foremost, that the wines are spectacular––obviously––but that doesn't really cut to the heart of it! One could also point to the interesting story (see below) of which this native grape was found and processed. But when I think of Foradori, it is the way she does things which makes these wines so exciting and interesting. And with that, I present to you the new vintage of Foradori, with two new wines never before offered by the shop.
A little background: Since she took over her family's winery at the age of 19, Elisabetta Foradori has made a life's work of elevating the Teroldego grape to heights once unimaginable. An ancient variety native to the alpine Trentino region and related to Pinot Noir, Lagrein, and Syrah among others, Teroldego thrives in the high, sunny foothills and plateaus below the Dolomite peaks in the far north of Italy. For most of its modern existence, it was grown and used in bulk. The farming was conventional—chemical use, mechanical harvesting, nursery clones—with the vines trained overhead on pergolas for easier ripening and higher yields. Co-ops purchased the fruit and turned it into light, thin, two-dimensional wine for local consumption. There was little appeal to it beyond the region, and growers started ripping out the Teroldego vines in the 1980's and replacing them with more international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet.
Elisabetta's family had purchased the estate in 1934; her father bottled Foradori's first vintage in 1960. When he passed unexpectedly in 1976, her mother kept the winery going until her daughter could graduate with her enology degree. Fresh out of school, Elisabetta jumped into her first harvest in 1984, fully committed to not only preserving her family business but also to pushing it and Teroldego forward to fulfill what she believed to be their great potential for quality over quantity. Flying in the face of local and family tradition, Elisabetta turned her attention first to the vineyards, gradually replacing the pergola-trained, high-yielding clones with massale cuttings from the oldest, best Foradori vines trained low on wires in the classic French guyot style. She also began harvesting by hand, pruning rigorously and converting the farming to organic.
The Foradori estate today comprises 28 hectares of vines (75% Teroldego, 15% Manzoni Bianco, 5% Nosiola, 5% Pinot Grigio) and produces around 160,000 bottles in a normal vintage. The vineyards are high in altitude and surrounded by mountains but generally on flat sites which receive a lot of sunlight and drain well. The Teroldego, as well as Pinot Grigio, is grown on the expansive, limestone-and-granite-rich Campo Rotaliano plain—essentially the "grand cru" of Trentino—with its sandy, gravelly alluvial soils; the Nosiola and Manzoni come from the Fontanasanta hills above Trento on clay-limestone soils about a half-hour away.