Tenuta San Leonardo

San Leonardo (Avio)

san leonardoProvince of Trento
Established: 1770
Owners: Guerrieri Gonzaga family
Winemakers: Carlo Guerrieri Gonzaga & Carlo Ferrini
Production: 145,000 bottles
Hectares under vines: 21
Viticulture: Conventional

When you visit Trentino’s Tenuta San Leonardo, described by Gambero Rosso as one of the “fifty wineries that changed Italy”, it is impossible not to be captivated by its sheer beauty. Located midway between Verona and Trento, with the Dolomites serving as an imposing backdrop, this lovingly-tended 300 hectares include manicured lawns, parkland, a stunning villa, museum, the original Roman road to Austria and a cellar to rival any Bordeaux chateau. The comparisons with Bordeaux do not end there, for the wine could easily pass as cru classé left bank, but this is no insurance company-owned chateau. Tenuta San Leonardo has soul, and you can feel it: in the place, the wine and the people.

The rich history of the property dates back 1500 years to when a group of prisoners from Trentino, captured by the Frankish army, erected a chapel nearby dedicated to the patron saint of prisoners, Saint Leonard, following their release. In the First World War, it was here that Austria made a formal request for an armistice and, during the Second World War, the family’s villa was the headquarters of the counterespionage section of the German high command. But it was when Carlo Guerrieri Gonzaga took over the Tenuta in the 1970s that San Leonardo began to make viticultural history, replanting the vineyards to craft a wine that would become an Italian classic. Made only in the best vintages, the blend has remained the same since 1982, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with Carmenère and Merlot.

Monica Larner of The Wine Advocate writes of the 2010 vintage,  “The 2010 San Leonardo is a seamless and polished wine that shows the best of this estate and this vintage. This is a profound and lasting wine with a bouquet that opens to dark fruit tones backed by spice, leather, tobacco and polished river stone. It tastes very young now but offers good material (in terms of richness, acidity and structure) to promise a steady aging evolution ahead. This edition of San Leonardo is gorgeous with a capital G.” 95 points.

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San Leonardo IGT