Merlot is one of the most widely planted red grape varietals in the world. Originally cultivated in France in the Bordeaux region, it was planted in northern Italy at the end of the 19th century. Merlot adapts to a very diverse range of growing conditions, but performs better in warmer climates. This is the reason why Mezzacorona cultivates the Merlot grapes in its estates close to the Garda lake.
Garda is the largest Italian lake, located just 40 miles south from the winery. Despite the fact that the lake lies right in the middle of the Italian Alps, the surrounding area is uniquely characterized by a Mediterranean climate. Lemon and olive trees surround the lakeside, contributing to create a landscape worthy to be painted over and over again –which explains the thousands of tourists from Europe who flock here yearly to take in the scenary. Thanks to the lake’s influence, summers are warm and winters mild, creating the perfect conditions for the ripening of Merlot, especially in terms of aromas.
In fact, this varietal requires a good amount of sun to lose the herbaceous character and to full express the fruity aroma of cherry and blackberry. In order to reach the ideal maturation of the grapes, Mezzacorona also places much attention on the vineyard management. Leaves are carefully removed from the vines to allow the clusters to receive all the sunlight they need. All the grapes are hand picked and quickly processed at the Mezzacorona facilities. Most undergo alcoholic fermentation for around 10-12 days at 77-79 °F (25-26°C). During this time, the fruity aromas and the tannins that will build the structure and body of the wine are extracted from the grapes. Part of Merlot matures in stainless steel tanks and part in oak, in order to smooth down the tannins and give more complexity to the wine.
Ruby red in color, the Mezzacorona Merlot presents an intense bouquet and a delicious array of aromas, including red fruits and plums, and a powerful but delicate structure with tannins that are velvety, but still present. It pairs best with red meats, cheeses and flavourful soups.
What else could there possibly be to learn? Why not watch the video with one of our winemakers, Lucio Matricardi, and find out! And while you’re at it, raise your glass and toast us with your Mezzacorona Merlot! Cheers!