Villa Mosconi Bertani
Valpolicella Sights Guide
Novare is a magnificent complex located in a valley of vineyards and woods at the eastern end of Valpolicella Classica. In the center is Villa Mosconi Bertani, an imposing neoclassical building richly decorated with sculptures and frescoes. All around the rustic buildings, with lofts for drying grapes, spacious cellars and a small church. On the back the big romantic garden with secular trees and the picturesque pond.
Villa Mosconi Bertani is a milestone in the wine history of Valpolicella and it is now owned by Santa Maria wine estate.
It is possible to visit it with guided tours and have tastings tastings of the estate's wines.
Coming on the dirt road which runs among vineyards at the beginning of Novare valley, it is possible to see the spectacular facade of Villa Mosconi Bertani. The building was completed at the end of 1700 in neoclassical style. The central body with Doric and Ionic columns, surmounted by statues of mythological divinities is flanked by two symmetrical wings that extend to the rustic buildings.
The interior is dominated by the imposing central hall (hall of the Muses) with a ceiling richly frescoed in trompe-l'œil with allegorical representations of the seasons and Flora, the goddess protector of fields and vineyards.
On the walls are further frescoes with allegorical representations of the sciences and the arts.
The back of the villa leads to the "secret garden", a picturesque romantic park with centuries-old trees, some of which are exotic, as was the fashion at the time.
The scenic effect is completed by a small lake with a tiny island in the center and a Nordic-style "tea room", which the poet Ippolito Pindemonte, a longtime guest of the Mosconi family, wanted as a place to contemplate nature and meditate. The guided tour includes a relaxing walk in the park of Villa Mosconi Bertani.
In the past, in many Valpolicella estates, wine was just one of the many products, made for a quick consumption. Wine cellars were often small and improvised.
At Villa Mosconi Bertani, on the other hand, together with the villa, a large and functional cellar was built, with advanced technical solutions for the production and aging of large quantities of wine, not only for local consumption, but also for marketing outside the Verona area.
The Birth of Amarone
AVilla Novare, as it was then called, was the headquarters of a winegrowers' cooperative in the early 1900s. According to legend, it was here that Amarone was born in the 1930s. The cellarman Adelino Lucchese forgot a barrel of sweet Recioto, which over time was transformed into the dry, full-bodied Amarone.
In the historical cellars of Villa Mosconi Bertani it is still possible to admire the old barrels of the end of the nineteenth century, impressive for their size. Some of them exceed 100 hectoliters (25,000 gallons).
If you want to know more
Grape Drying Lofts
Fruttai are the big rooms where the selected grapes spend the three months of drying that are necessary to transform them into Recioto and Amarone. Villa Mosconi Bertani's historic fruttai are among the most representative of the traditional method. They still use the old "aréle", the racks of river reeds stacked on old wooden frames perfectly preserved and functional.
They are of course part of the visit. In the autumn period they are full of drying grapes.
The Novare valley where Villa Mosconi Bertani is located is rich in water springs. For this reason, it has seen human settlements since prehistoric times. There was certainly a village of Arusnati, the ancient inhabitants of Valpolicella. The Romans channelled the water from the springs into an ingenious aqueduct, partly excavated in the rock, which supplied Verona.
The presence of water, the fertility of the place, the proximity to Verona made the presence of settlements and agricultural activities constant throughout the medieval and renaissance period. Where today stands the villa there was a small village composed of buildings built without a real order over time.
In 1679 the Fattori family bought the estate, enlarging its extension, and began the construction of the villa, unifying the various buildings.
The Mosconis, a noble family from Verona, took over the estate and the building site in 1769, completing the construction of the villa in its current form and creating the garden. Lovers of art and culture, they turned the villa into a lively literary salon where Ippolito Pindemonte was a frequent guest. In the rustic buildings annexed to the villa, wine and silk were produced.
In 1868 the property passed to the Trezza di Musella family. The social life that revolved around this place ended, and the estete was entirely dedicated to the production of wine, with the modernization of vineyards and cellars.
Starting from the 1930s the cellars of the villa were rented to the Negrar cooperative winery. It is in these years that Amarone would have been born here.
In 1957, the estate passed into the hands of the Bertani family, historic winegrowers from Verona, who are still the owners today.
Tenuta Santa Maria Winery
In the tasting at the end of the visit and in the wine shop of Villa Mosconi Bertani you will find wines labelled as Tenuta Santa Maria, the Bertani family estate.
The main product is of course Amarone, an elegant and powerful wine aged in large casks.
There are also other classic wines from Valpolicella and from other Verona areas, including Soave from the vineyards of eastern Verona.
You will also find interesting IGTs, such as Decima Aurea from Merlot grapes, and some Chardonnay blends.
Visits and Tastings
starts from the villa with its frescoed hall, then goes to the romantic garden, with its small lake and vineyards. The tour continues in the grape drying lofts. From October to February, you will see the bunches of grapes lying on the drying racks, smelling their sweet aromas. Then you will go down to the historical cellars with their huge casks.
The tasting takes place in one of the beautiful rooms of the villa and can be accompanied by a snack of cheese, bread, salami and olive oil also produced on the property.
It is a unique opportunity to see a typical Venetian villa and to taste wines of undisputed excellence while learning more about Valpolicella. The visit is perfect both for small private groups and for large organized groups.
It can also host meetings, corporate meetings, wedding receptions, etc..
Villa Mosconi Bertani is less than 20' drive from the center of Verona.
To call directly the villa: +39 045 602 0744.