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Country of Origin: Italy
Location: Monteforte d'Alpone, Soave
People: Graziano Prà, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Graziano Prà is a man of the soil. Raised in Soave among the vines, it was his father and grandfather who sealed his fate as a winemaker. For generations his family owned and worked vineyards but never produced commercial wines. Graziano changed his destiny in the early 1980s when he started the family winery. His goal was to respect and be true to his land while producing wines of great quality and finesse. Never wavering from this philosophy, purity remains a key word to describe Prà wines. Today, Prà is one of the top producers in the Soave appellation. Don’t be mistaken by Graziano’s humble personality; he and his wines have gained international fame.
The Prà holdings consist of esteemed vineyard sites in Soave and Valpolicella. The vines are farmed organically as Graziano is a firm believer in natural viticulture. He has farmed organically since the beginning and is now in the process of getting official certification for his 30 hectares in Soave. The 7 hectares in Valpolicella are already fully certified. All grapes are harvested by hand.
Monte Grande: Located in the heart of Soave Classico, Monte Grande is the prized vineyard of the estate. The Prà family has owned the vineyard for generations with much of the plantings done in the late 1970s. The vineyard is located about 500 feet above sea level. The rich volcanic soil imparts power, minerality and aromatic complexity to the wines, differing from the floral and acid-driven Soave produced from limestone-rich soil.
Monte Bisson: Purchased in 2016, Monte Bisson is the newest vineyard addition. It is located at the beginning of the Cazzano Valley just outside the town of Soave. A tower built by Venetians in the 1400s surrounds the hill.
La Morandina: Besides Soave, Graziano also produces Valpolicella and Amarone from a vineyard that he purchased in 2001. La Morandina is on the high slopes of the Mezzane Valley at an altitude of 1,640 feet. Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, and Oseleta grapes are planted in calcareous soils of glacial origin. The limestone and surface marl fossils produce wines of finesse and elegance. Cool breezes from the Lessini Mountains guarantee big ventilation and slow ripening of the grapes. Prà’s reds are fresh and mineral unlike some of the ripe and powerful reds that come out of the region.
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"It’s interesting to think that the wine that first brought me to the Prà portfolio was the Amarone, especially considering that Prà are hands-down one of the top producers of Soave Classico. The reason for my interest in this wine was its savory minerality, the result of the 500-meter elevations and limestone-rich soils within the sub-zones of Mezzane and Tregnano, where the vineyards are situated. Whenever tasting through a flight of Amarone, the Prà Morandina always stood out, and it would be the bottle I’d choose to bring to my dinner table (yes, dinner table, not cheese course). However, waxing over this wine doesn’t do Graziano Prà and his family justice, because as I mentioned previously, their portfolio of single-vineyard and vineyard-selection Soave ranks among the best of them. Not only that, but these are wines that can and do age incredibly well. Graziano Prà’s family were farmers of vines, not bottlers of wine, yet he saw significant potential in the region and had the desire to better understand each of the individual parcels that his family worked. These vineyards, most planted as far back as the 1970s, were always farmed organically, a practice that is continued to this day. The winery is located in Monteforte d’Alpone, from which you can see the prized Crus of the region."
"In my opinion one of Veneto’s two best Soave producers, Graziano Prà has been busy restructuring a century old estate in Monte Bisson (there’s an old watchtower that dates back to the fourteenth century), in front of the castle of Soave, that he bought in 2015 (fourteen hectares large, seven of which are under vine). There are six old colonic homes that are in the process of being fixed up and will be used as a bed and breakfast that Prà intends to use for friends and visiting wine professionals. The estate is also increasingly moving over to the Stelvin closure (commonly known as screwcap), since in-house trials have shown that the wines bottled this way perform better than those with the classical cork. The winery is changing over from cork to Stelvin system for all the old vintages in the estate library."
"Graziano Prà owns 37 hectares of vines in Veneto’s two most famous winemaking areas, Soave Classico (30 hectares) and Valpolicella (7 hectares). While his recent foray into the world of red wines has been highlighted by the production of outstanding Valpolicella and Amarone wines, further confirming the estate’s reputation as one of the very best in Italy, there is no doubt Prà has always been viewed as a quintessential white wine producer."