08 Jan 2014 Villa Emo Capodilista – Ca’ Emo among the best wines for Robert Parker
We all know that the Venetian aristocracy was distinguished for its powerful vocation for business that manifested itself in the form of trade on the seas and in farming on the mainland: the structure of the Palladian Villas perfectly illustrates the life of the Venetian noblemen, who lived in union with the countryside and their warehouses (“barchesse”).
The entrepreneurship of Giordano Emo developed in harmony with the history of his family.
“The “Camera delle Vigne” in the Villa testifies to the fact that wine has been made here since 1500”, says the Count, explaining how a passion became the family’s main activity.
For the inhabitants of this place, wine, Cabernet or Merlot, is not just a drink but a basic foodstuff: “I remember that people used to come here on Wednesday afternoons and take fifty or so liters of wine home with them”.
Over time, quantity has generated quality: with the help of his father, Umberto, in the early ‘90s Giordano Emo Capodilista began replanting vineyards over an area of 45 hectares divided between Montecchia and the recently purchased Baone, the southernmost part of the Euganean Hills. “This is a very suitable area for winemaking due to the temperate climate, the volcanic nature of the hills and the proximity to the sea: I love to define our Hills as the south of the north, where great Mediterranean wines are made.”
It has been a long, slow process, because “Wine is slow”.
The Count is convinced of this: “It takes at least ten harvests to understand how to make a decent wine, and a man makes thirty in his lifetime. I am on my twentieth and am reasonably satisfied”. He has every right to be: Montecchia wines have collected a number of important awards in Italy and abroad: from the “Tre Bicchieri” (three glasses) awarded by Gambero Rosso- Slow Food, to prizes and recommendations from the sector’s most famous critics, including Luca Maroni and Robert Parker.
The latter, in his authoritative American magazine, “The Wine Advocate”, classified some wines as having “excellent value” and placed “Ca’ Emo” in the list of the World’s Great Wine Values. The winery was also mentioned in Hugh Johnson’s Wine Book 2008.
Over half of the production – which is immediately recognizable from the labels depicting the knights in the Capodilista Code – is exported, mainly to the United States where the favorite is the Fior d’Arancio Spumante, distributed by Villa Italia that belongs to Lorenzo Scarpone, the creator of “Slow Food” in the States.
Our visit to Count Giordano Emo Capodilista ends at the table, in the Ristorante “La Montecchia”: a very special place, located in the former drying rooms of the tobacco factory that used to belong to the family.
The drying rooms, next to the castle, have become the club house for the 27 hole golf course at “La Montecchia” Golf Club.
Here our story ends, after a journey through past and present which could almost be a metaphor for the experiences of Count Giordano Emo Capodilista: a wise, creative, modern businessman, who grew up surrounded by history.