Owner & winemaker: Tanita Danese
Vineyards: 10ha, all estate-owned
Vineyard management: Certified organic since 1985
Soils: Volcanic (basalt and tuff)
Grapes grown: Durella, Chardonnay, Incrocio Manzoni
Annual production: 60,000 bottles
- At Fongaro, they make only sparkling wines, only via the traditional method, and only based on the Durella grape.
- Fongaro was one of the first wineries in the region to embrace organic farming–they have been certified since 1985.
- They are passionate about the importance of the local grape Durella: it makes up about 90% of their plantings.
- Today, the wines are still the result of purely manual work: every bottle is touched, picked up and moved by human hands at least 40 times before leaving the cellar.
The Fongaro winery was founded by Guerrino Fongaro in 1975. His idea was to showcase the unique character of the Roncà region through its oldest indigenous grape variety, Durella. “Rediscovered” in the 1960s, this ancient variety was considered rustic, wild, and “hard,” thus the name. However, its naturally high acidity makes it ideal for the production of sparkling wines. The vineyards are found in the Lessini mountains, which were formed by extinct volcanos, so the soils are composed of volcanic basalt and tuff and are very rich in minerals. Protected by the hills, the climate is humid and temperate. Since 1985, the winery has distinguished itself through certified organic farming and an exclusive focus on traditional method sparkling wines. Secondary fermentation is started using the wine’s own native yeasts. The wines are aged on the lees for between 36 and 96 months before being riddled and disgorged by hand. Today, the estate is run by Tanita Danese, a young agriculturist and oenologist long linked to the Fongaro family.