Canada’s top wine writers and sommeliers gathered in the nation’s capital recently for an extraordinary tasting of Ferrari wines, Italy’s benchmark sparkling wine producer.
Matteo Lunelli, president of Ferrari, explains in the video above how the Ferarri winery survived unscathed during World War II and out of that fortunate chaos, founder Giulio Ferrari discovered longer aged vintages. Click on the arrow to play the video.
With the help of a slide show, Matteo shares the beauty of the countryside at Villa Margon. As well as being a wine growing area during the summer months, there is skiing in winter.
Wine Columnist, Huffington Post Canada
A portfolio tasting lunch featuring Premium sparkling producer, Ferrari Trento. A full two and one half hours of nothing but sparkling wines and tapas at Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen located in Ottawa’s trendy Byward Market. What a treat!
Matteo Lunelli is President of Ferrari Winery and a vigorous advocate of the Trento-Adige region of Italy. In fact, he’s passionate about all things made in Italy. He travels tirelessly around the globe promoting his passion for his wine and his Italian culture. Bravo Matteo!
Ferrari Trento began in 1902 as the passion of Guilio Ferrari. He wanted to create a luxury sparkling wine (including label and packaging) for the Italian market. He believed that “excellence is not an act but a habit.”
Guilio would pursue his passion and nurture his brand over the next 50 years including two World Wars. Ferrari Wines survived WWII and in 1952 the childless Guilio, passed his business to wine merchant Bruno Lunelli. The transition was effortless and though Bruno grew the business, he remained true to Guilio Ferrari’s vision of excellence.
Alto Adige Trentino D.O.C., Italy
Three generations later, with Matteo at the helm, Ferrari is the luxury toast of Italy. Ferrari produces 4.5 million bottles per year and Matteo would like to see that number grow with more representation in North America.
Ferrari is a luxurious sparkling wine. It differentiates itself from the budget-friendly Prosecco by using only Trentino grapes. They are handpicked from only the best sites, 400-500 metres high in the Italian Alps, bordering Austria.
The grapes ripen during the warm daylight hours. Cool night time temperatures descend the mountains and preserve the acidity levels of the Pinot Nero and Chardonnay. This is similar to Champagne.
No herbicides or pesticides are used and some biodiversity is added with flowers and insects. Fellow grape growers of the Trento region were convinced to follow this Ferrari protocol and today it is monitored by an outside company to ensure quality throughout the AC.
The entry level Ferrari Brut consists only of Chardonnay. It’s dry, clean and has great acidity. There’s a backbone of biscuit with citrus, apples and floral notes. Lovely creamy mousse.
The Ferrari Perle 2007 is a vintage Blanc de Blanc from the Lunelli family’s own vineyard. An elegant bubbly that has seen five years of maturation on selected yeasts from Ferrari’s own cultures. Nutty, citrus, oxidized apples, and lees wrapped in creamy mousse.
The star of the lunch was the Giulio Ferrari Riserva De Fondatore 2002. This is true luxury. Many celebrations have been toasted with this wine: the Italian Grand Prix, Italian World Expo and the Emmy Awards in Hollywood.
Named for the founder, this wine epitomizes his philosophy on excellence. This wine was aged at least 10 years on selected yeasts. It’s liquid velvet with vanilla, butter, toffee, yeast, brioche, lychee and creamy mousse. Pure indulgence. Beautiful bottle.
The above wines as well as those not listed are all age worthy – another fact that differentiates Ferrari from Prosecco.
“Excellence is not an act but a habit” is what I came away with after meeting with Matteo Lunelli. Sure, he’s passionate about his wines but more importantly he’s encouraging us to put habitual quality into our everyday life and his hope that we pay it forward. Let’s help him spread the word… and the wine.
Team member Matt Steeves sabres a bottle of Ferrari sparkling wine on CTV’s Morning Live Show.
Wine Expert, CTV Morning Live
On October 19th, Ferrari Trentodoc, Italy’s famous sparkling wine house and recently crowned “Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year”, visited Ottawa to show their portfolio of Metodo Classico sparkling wine to a group of Ottawa-based wine writers and sommeliers.
The tasting occurred at Sidedoor Kitchen (a beautiful, contemporary restaurant that excels in Asian-Mexican-fusion dishes, which are great with sparkling wine by the way). Nestled in the Byward Market where we enjoyed a delicious multi-course meal, along with Ferrari’s award winning wines.
Matteo Lunelli, the winery’s President and Chairman of the now third generation family business, led the tasting, where he showcased Ferrari’s rich history with sparkling wine production.
Starting with a very modest beginning in 1902, it didn’t take long for Ferrari to be formally praised for their high quality wine. They received the Gold Medal for their sparkling wine at the 1906 International Exhibition in Milano (EXPO 1906).
For many decades thereafter, including enduring both World Wars, and continuing to this day, the Ferrari winery has a long tradition of achieving great success earning them the title of Italy’s leading producer of luxury sparkling wine, along with a list of accolades too long to begin mentioning.
Recognized as the ‘Rolls-Royce’ of Italian fizz, Ferrari has spent many years in a league of their own. On that point, in September 2015, Ferrari won the title of “Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year” at the international competition –“The Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships”, finishing first in the final round over two storied Champagne producers: Charles Heidsieck and Luis Roederer.
Indicative of the world-class sparkling wine they’re producing, and speaking volumes to the efforts they’re taking to carry out all aspects of their business with excellence – in pursuit of making the finest sparkling wine in the world.
If you’d like to try some of Ferrari’s fine bubbly, it’s available across the country by private order and at select wine retailers such as SAQ in Quebec and BCLDB in British Columbia. Ferrari Brut, the most affordable high-quality Blanc de Blancs you can find, is currently available at SAQ stores in Quebec and BCLDB stores.
Matteo answers the question of what happens to the wine as it ages and how long can it age.
The freshness and acidity of the wine balances well with an incredible number of matches with food.
Wine Columnist, Ottawa Living Magazine
I felt incredibly privileged to have been a part of a team of sommeliers and wine writers who enjoyed a wonderful tasting and meal with Metteo Lunelli – President of Ferrari Winery and CEO of the Lunelli Group.
Matteo is also a leading member of several other prestigious organizations in Italy, including holding the seat of the Vice President of the Fondazione Altagamma – an organization that brings together a broad spectrum of high-end Italian goods from all over Italy to feature fine Italian quality and culture.
As we tasted through a portfolio of Ferrari Winery’s quality Metodo Classico-sparkling wines, Matteo recounted a fascinating history of the winery, which went through many hurdles. It all started with one man’s humble vision of producing world class traditional method sparkling wines in the very unique mountain terroir region of Trentodoc – established in 1902 by Guilio Ferrari.
Alto Adige Trentino D.O.C., Italy
Guilio Ferrari was a visionary and a cutting edge viticulturist, being one of the first wine producers to cultivate Chardonnay in Italy.
Ferrari took a risk at the time but he was adamant that the high altitude regions in Trento would create distinctive quality sparkling wines that would rival the world’s best and most luxurious brands.
The Trentodoc region was recognized as the place for quality wine production, because Ferrari noted early on, that its high altitudes (500+m above sea level), large diurnal temperature changes, soils and cool climate was the best possible place in the entire world to take on the task.
This story continued like a fairytale as we tasted the Ferrari Brut, the Ferrari Rosé, the Perlé and Perlé Rosé and the exquisite Guilio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore.
Ferrari winery endured two world wars and a near bankruptcy. Today, they are Italy’s leading producer of traditional method sparkling wines and one of the world’s leading luxury sparkling wine makers.
Ferrari sparkling wines hold so much prestige that they have been featured at many occasions celebrating world leaders (toasted among the likes of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Queen Elizabeth II); sporting achievements and, cinematography achievements – including the 67th Emmy Awards.
Ferrari Perlé Rosé 2008
Alto Adige Trentino D.O.C., Italy
Plus, the most wonderful part of all of this is the price point for such an illustrious wine. They are quite the bargain when compared to top notch Champagnes.
I am immensely grateful to have experienced Matteo’s mesmerizing story of his winery. He is a driven wine producer who is committed to quality and elevating the prestige of fine Italian traditional method sparkling wines in our market.
I’ll end with a toast to our Provincial retailers in hopes of getting this remarkable wine more shelf space.
The challenge against time in reaching the extreme high end sparkling wine market.
Tania Thomas, CSW
Wine Expert, Rogers Daytime Television
The story of Ferrari winemaking starts in 1902 with Guilio’s dream of creating a wine in Trentino which would be able to compete with the best French Champagnes.
Passionate about wine, he studied oenology in Montpellier and later in Champagne learning the Méthode Champenoise first hand.
He pioneered the production of high quality sparkling wine vinified from Chardonnay grapes growing on the slopes of the Alps in the Valle del Adige around his home-town of Trentino.
After fifty years of producing Trentino’s fantastic sparklers and without any successors, Guilio chose to sell his winery to Bruno Lunelli, a passionate entrepreneur. He continued to safeguard his principle of high quality and attention to the smallest detail.
Today, Ferrari Winery is run by the third generation of Lunelli family, keeping the Ferrari dream alive and crafting luxury sparkling wines for the world’s most sophisticated customer.
The mountain viticulture of the region, with over five centuries of winemaking tradition, is perfectly suited for sparkling wine production with its warm days and cool nights, as it adds layers of complexity and elegance to the wines.
Organically certified, all grapes are sourced from Trentino’s sustainable vineyards on the highest slopes of the Alps at 400-500 m above the sea level, allowing them to achieve aromatic maturation while preserving the high level of acidity.
It was a great privilege meeting Ferrari Winery’s President, Matteo Bruno Lunelli, a legend in its own right. Matteo took us on a most enjoyable sparkling journey of Ferrari signature wines.
Ferrari Perlé 2007
Alto Adige Trentino D.O.C., Italy
Vinifies with 100% Chardonnay grapes, hand-harvested from Lunelli family’s own high altitude Alpine vineyards. This fantastic, dry and crisp sparkler displays perfect harmony of freshness and elegance.
In addition to typical fruity notes of apples and white peaches, it brings warming aromas and flavours of brioche and almond pastry due to its prolonged lees contact. Fine and persistent bubbles, perfect companion to pasta al carbonara.
Guilio Ferrari, founder of Ferrari Wines, learned how to create bottled fermented sparkling wine. His dream of creating his own sparkling wine was born.
Matteo toasts the group and tasting.
Director, National Capital Sommelier Guild
October brought another special treat for several local Ottawa sommeliers and wine writers; the Ferrari portfolio tasting – Italy’s leading producer of Metodo Classico sparkling wines.
The tasting was led by Matteo Lunelli, President and CEO of Ferrari Winery. The Lunelli family took over the winery in 1952 from founder Giulio Ferrari who had no heirs to continue his dream and passion.
It was truly a great experience to listen to, and absorb, the rich history and evolution of Ferrari. From the humble beginnings of a man who saw the potential of the region, and a dream to make sparkling wines that rival the best in Champagne, to the current vision for sustainability and biodiversity.
Ferrari Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 2002
Alto Adige Trentino D.O.C., Italy
The most awarded Italian Sparkling Wine crafted with Chardonnay grapes exclusively, comes with effortless elegance, unbeatable complexity and unique aging ability. Bursting with tropical aromas and flavours of ripe pineapple, creamy honey, a whiff of white floral notes and great minerality.
Lingering white chocolate notes and an incredible complexity due to a ten-year maturation period on its lees. Enjoy this fabulous and luxurious sparkling wine on its own to get the full benefit of its undeniable greatness.
The middle filled with stories including how well wines had aged while untouched by hand or bomb during WWII and later, hiding bottles in secret for 7 years. A difficult task in an under supplied market, to prove the quality/benefits of longer aging.
The only disappointment came when learning that the products are not readily available through our monopoly controlled LCBO. Given Ferrari is Italy’s most awarded sparkling wine producer and with accolades including ‘Best Sparkling in the World’ and ‘Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year’ at The Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships 2014/2015, and most recently nominated as ‘Best European Winery’ by Wine Enthusiast at the Wine Star Awards, it seems odd that there isn’t a greater presence in our market.
So, it seems that until the Ontario provincial government will open our markets to competition; or the heads at the LCBO change their formula for “Product Calls” fitting narrow criteria outlined in Vintages Product Needs Schedules, and volume sales target sell-throughs, we the consumer are denied easy access to some top rate value products.
Fortunately, some of these great Ferrari sparkling wines are available by the case through Vins Phillipe Dandurand Wines – dandurandwines.com and on Twitter @Dandurandwines.
Trentodoc means bottled fermented sparkling wine. Matteo explains the characteristics of this wine.
Matteo explains the Italian market sharing, the number of Ferrari wine bottles produced each year, as well as their exporting to 40 countries.
Unique terroir produces high-end products. At one time, the top of the line used to be from Bordeaux and Burgundy, but there’s lots of potential for other regions to produce high-end sparkling wines.
It takes patience and time to create a good wine. Their rosé is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. A Trentodoc wine make exclusively from mountain grapes.
Dedicated to the founder of the winery, made with Chardonnay grapes from Trentodoc.
The Italian people believed in wine made with fresh grapes. Here’s the story that changes their belief.
Accredited Sommelier & Blogger
Among several fellow sommeliers, the brand leader of fine wines for Philippe Dandurand Wines – Sheila Whittaker; Ferrari Export Manager – Massimiliano Giacomini; and the President and CEO of Ferrari – Matteo Lunelli; I enjoyed an intimate overview of the Ferrari product portfolio, operations and a detailed information of the philosophy and terroir in which the grapes are grown for the Ferrari suite of products.
The story of Ferrari began with Giullia Ferrari’s dream of joining beauty with pleasure, art with nature, and delicacy with strength. In 1902 Giullia Ferrari pioneered the introduction of Chardonnay grapes into Italy.
The Dolomite mountain range in Northern Italy’s Trento DOC area has demonstrated, for over a century, that the combination of latitude and altitude, produce favorable growing conditions, with similar effects to the world renowned Champagne region of France.
Compared with the region of Champagne, Trentodoc has a lower latitude and higher altitude producing diurnal daily temperature variations favorable to high acidity and fruit sugar concentration.
Half a century after Ferrari founded the mountain winery in Trentodoc, in 1952 Mr Bruno Lunelli acquired the enterprise, preserving the fundamentals of Ferrari into a succession of generations of wine-passionate Lunelli family members. In 2015, the 3rd generation of Lunelli family leadership is guided by Matteo Lunelli, who vigorously exudes a passion for excellence and sustained dedication to craft every bottle as a work of art.
Tasting the Ferrari Rosé (60% Pinot Noir , 40% Chardonay), the Perlé Rosé (80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay), the Brut (100% Chardonnay), the Perlé (100% Chardonnay), and the Giulio Ferrari Riserva Del Fondatore (100% Chardonay) at the Sidedoorkitchen, provided unique Asian fusion pairings with each wine.
Tasting the wines felt like experiencing an art gallery through my senses with varying expressions, textures and contrasts, all with beauty and distinctive characteristics.
The unique attributes of each label are distinguished by extensive aging on lees pre-disgorgement varying from 2-12 years, custom yeast cultures, and commitment to quality through detailed viticultural practices such as pruning of Pinot Noir bunch bottoms to allow for better air flow per bunch.
Over a century of love for the land, and connection with the terroir, are also captured in Frescos with Ferrari’s estate Villa Margon, where the history of viticulture in the making of Trentodoc mountain wine are illustrated.
In parting, Mr Lunelli shared that Ferrari’s mountain vineyards are said to be kissed by the sun, their wine to be the hymn of the earth to the sky, their wine to be close to passion, wise and wild, harmony, light, elegant, graceful, delicate yet strong.
Excellence is not a single act, but a lifetime pursuit and that strength is in the roots, and in the roots lies the poetry of wine.
Mr Lunelli explains that the outcome of every bottle is that “each glass calls the next”. I must agree. Mission accomplished. With aging potential and celebratory opportunities abound, Ferrari has several options for “bottles to buy by the case”.
Photo Credit: Jon Steeves
Alto Adige Trentino D.O.C., Italy
Accredited Sommelier & Blogger
Ferrari Trento is an award-winning winery from Northern Italy: “European Winery of the Year
2015; Expo Milan 2015; Emmy Awards 2015; and that’s just in the past three months! If you have not tried the sensational sparkling wines from Ferrari Trento, you are missing something spectacular.
On October 19th, Matteo Bruno Lunelli, the President and CEO of Ferrari Trento visited Side Door restaurant in Ottawa’s Byward Market to introduce a select group of us to a collection of his elegant sparkling wines.
Each and every wine that was poured told its own unique story and left your taste buds wanting more. Grown on the mountain vineyards of Trentino, Italy, the unique, high altitude terroir provides the perfect combination of warm days and cool nights to grow the impeccable grapes for the best sparkling wines.
Hand-picked and made in the traditional method, these stunning wines have shaken up the sparkling wine world with its grace and finesse.
Established in 1902 by Giulio Ferrari, he pioneered a legacy which now competes with the best Champagnes in the world.
The 2007 Ferrari Perle Rose was aged on the lees for 6-7 years. Made from 80% Pinot Nero and 20% Chardonnay, you are greeted by a gorgeous bouquet of red berries, vanilla and candied orange. On the palate there is a delicate and velvety texture with flavours of berry, vanilla, rose and sweet spice.
Amongst the generous collection, we were also graced with the seductive 2002 Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore. Made from 100% Chardonnay, this wine expressed a beautiful minerality and unbeatable complexity with aromas and flavours of pineapple, lychee, white chocolate pastry and marzipan. Matteo described this wine’s complexity as being, “vertical in your mouth”, elegant, precise and clean.
Although these wines are rarely seen at the LCBO, it would be to your advantage to snap one up should you come across one. Ferrari Trento is creating quite a following of distinguished customers, and customers with distinguished taste.
Ferrari: Mountain Sparkling Wine of the Alps CTV Morning Live
Leanne: All Sparkling wines are great for all occasions and when it comes to celebrations they’re the perfect choice. Alright so to celebrate Canada’s Federal Election sommelier Matt Steeves has picks some Sparkling wines for you to enjoy either if you’re at the Big Bash or you’re doing a party or anything that you just feel like celebrating, right?
Matt: Exactly that’s right. It is the perfect product to be enjoying tonight for celebration and I have a nice selection here. Starting off on the left we have some really youthful fruity, sweet and fruit fun wines including Nicki Minaj’s new Moscato bubbly so…
Leanne: It just looks cute, just the packaging, right?
Matt: Exactly, everything about it. That’s the one there if you want to take a sip of that Leanne. It has a little bit of fizz in it, it’s sweet and it’s really nice.
Leanne: This goes down like apple juice.
Matt: I know, we could end the show here why move further, right?
Leanne: Oh my god, that’s like apple juice right now, okay.
Leanne: That’s great.
Matt: Exactly and the next one is in a similar vein. It’s lightly and fizzy. It’s a raspberry wine blend so again you don’t need to go for the fancy Champagnes. And for young voters getting out there, maybe this is the wine that they would choose tonight to celebrate.
Leanne: Fabulous to start with.
Matt: Exactly and then moving on I’ve got 6 beautiful traditional method Champagnes. I have one Champagne here and the rest are traditional methods just like Champagne. And they’re real beauties so…
Leanne: This one is coming from Argentina?
Matt: Argentina and under $12 so it’s an incredible value. This beautiful Trapiche Extra Brut is so very dry, great with food like hors d’oeuvres and the foods you’ll be enjoying that a little cocktail party or your celebration party.
Leanne: But any of these would be a good choice. This one’s at a lower price point, right?
Matt: That’s right.
Leanne: And so let’s move on a little bit.
Matt: So moving on to this one. Here is a Ferrari Perlé – 2007 vintage. It actually recently won top Sparkling wine in the world outside of Champagne.
Leanne: Okay in just like 10 seconds or less, so people have a better understanding, Champagne is a region, right?
Leanne: So I want to be able to identify what we’re looking at.
Matt: Champagne is a region and it’s also a product. All of these wines are made like Champagne. They just were not made in Champagne except for this one.
Leanne: Right. There’s a clarification with that, okay. So that one won this year.
Matt: Yes, Top Sparkling Wine in the World outside of Champagne. It is a beautiful product. They’ve been making great wines for over a hundred years.
Matt: I’ve got 3 beautiful Ontario traditional methods from 2011… The Creek Side Trad, Jackson Triggs Entourage and Featherstone Joy. They’ve all won top awards over the last couple of years. It is a beautiful product and affordably priced in the high $20’s low $30’s. That is about half the price of entry level Champagne with the same quality.
Leanne: That’s good to know, I’m going to try this one.
Matt: Yes, that’s the Featherstone Joy.
Leanne: Alright and at the same time, is this the Featherstone?
Matt: That is.
Leanne: In the last couple of segments that we’ve done, this is the product that you continue to bring in?
Matt: Yes, well it won the top award for Sparkling Wine in Canada and you know it’s just a beautiful product so…
Melissa: Now the trick is to open up the bottle.
Leanne: Do you want to try? Right I’m going to let you have a sip to calm the nerves right down.
Melissa: It’s lovely.
Matt: So we’re going to do something very cool. Napoleon Bonaparte was very popular for opening Sparkling wines with the Sabre – a sword.
Matt: Very cool. So I would like to try that here as well so we’re going to get Melissa to help us out.
Leanne: I’ve had the privilege in doing this, now let’s get Melissa to try this.
Melissa: So I’m going to tell you a story. The last time I opened a Champagne bottle or a Sparkling wine of my house, I still have a dent on my ceiling.
Matt: Watch it for the camera guys.
Matt: So you’re going to hold that…
Matt: Really firmly…
Melissa: Do I leave that little thing on there?
Matt: Yes, leave the little thing.
Leanne: Watch out over there.
Matt: One hard hit.
Leanne: We have guests moving away.
Melissa: Is it like this?
Melissa: And then like… okay.
Matt: Wow! Fantastic!
Melissa: I broke the bottle.
Matt: Great job that’s the trick exactly.
Leanne: No, that’s actually it looks.
Melissa: Oh that’s how you want to do it?
Matt: That’s it exactly.
Melissa: Wow! So how do you know you don’t get shards of glass in here?
Matt: Because there’s about same pressure in there as there is a school bus tire. So when that explodes, all the shards go away.
Melissa: Wow! Look at that.
Leanne: Nicely done and the key to the trick is? By the way if you want to do this at home, it needs to be an incredibly cold bottle, right?
Matt: That’s right.
Leanne: If you want to sabre…
Matt: And one more if we have time, so the Jackson Triggs Entourage with the spoon, I don’t know if you want to try it or not?
Melissa: You can go.
Matt: Okay, so you necessarily need this big Machete, you can also just use a spoon and again the trick is to have that nice and cold. And you just want to go like this, do a few little practice tries and sometimes it doesn’t work and that’s… up there you go!
Melissa: Wow! Same!
Leanne: Champagne for everyone here this morning.