Prà Soave 'Otto' 2017 Veneto, ITALY

The Prà winery is at the heart of Soave Classico, in the Veneto.

Soave wines are produced in the north-east of Italy

Wines made in the Soave region are some of the oldest documented in Italy - where there are accounts of the grapes being air-dried to produce sweet wine (as to this day with Recioto di Soave). Today Soave wines must be at least 70% Garganega. This grape is local to the region, and although is grown to some extent in other areas of Italy (ie. Umbria, and Sicily - where it is sometimes known as Grecanico Dorato) it has very few plantings outside of the country.

The Soave zone was expanded with the creation of the Soave DOC in 1968, and plantings increased. For the Garganega grape - which is already capable of producing great yields - the temptation for some was to take advantage of this.

However Graziano has always endeavoured to control yields in the vineyard (to around 70hl/ha) in order to maximise quality and character in his wines. As when treated carefully in the vineyard and winery, 100% Garganega wines are regarded as some of the best whites in Italy.

Graziano, a viticulturalist who's bridging yesterday and tomorrow, the helmsman of a winery that's forging straight ahead and doing it with all due respect for the environment." Gambero Rosso guide 2018

Where Graziano Pra's wine story began

Graziano Prà grew up in a family of vinegrowers. He made the decision to stop selling wines to the local cooperative, and instead to bottle wines under the family name...

1983 was the first vintage of Soave for the Fratelli Prà company - Graziano headed up winemaking with his brother Sergio taking care of the vineyards.

1988 Graziano decided to develop their family vineyard, Monte Grande, to become the Prà 'cru'.

2001 Graziano bought La Morandina, an organic vineyard, where he will begin the second half of his story - to produce Valpolicella and Amarone wines.

2009 The first Amarone vintage (2006) is released.

2016 The 'Monte Bisson' vineyard is acquired.

Pra's Monte Grande vineyard

Prà's vineyards:

Map showing Monteforte d'Alpone, and the Monte Bisson and Monte Grande vineyards (in yellow)

The Prà winery is in Monteforte d'Alpone - the eastern side of the Soave zone. Here the vines are planted on decomposed volcanic rock, which produces steely, mineral wines.

Graziano now has several vineyard plots across Soave - amounting to around 30 hectares. These include sites in front of the Castello di Soave, his Monte Grande and Sant'Antonio vineyards, and other plots in Froscà and Monte Croce. The most recent addition is the Monte Bisson vineyard - overlooked by a 15th century Venetian tower.

Monte Grande and Monte Bisson vineyards, Garganega grapes and the Castello di Soave

The grapes for Soave Otto are grown on a 14ha southeast-facing vineyard near Monteforte d'Alpone, at 150-250 m altitude. The vines are Pergola Veronese and Guyot trained and planting density is kept low - at around 3,500 vines / hectare (the European average is nearer 10,000). Garganega has large bunches, and the skins turns slightly amber when ripe - which is typically late in the season.

The grapes are softly pressed and fermented in stainless steel at controlled tempeature, then matured on fine lees until being bottled in February of the following year. This adds texture and complexity.

The result is a wine with aromas of jasmine and stone fruit, with peach and apricot characters on the palate balancing crisp citrus acidity - and a nuttiness and minerality adding depth and length. But don't just take our word for it...

"Prà's wines dazzle at every level" Michael Apstein, Decanter magazine

Why 'Otto'?

We'll let Graziano tell you himself...

The back label copy from Soave 'Otto': "Dedicated to my beloved Border Collie, my loyal companion every day."

Here's Boutinot's product manager for our Italian agencies, Tony Brown MW, to tell you why he loves this wine so much...

Graziano's Morandina vineyard in Valpolicella is already organically farmed, and he will be converting his Soave vineyards to organic viticulture also. In the meantime he supports the Slow Wine movement and is part of FIVI (the Italian Federation of Independent Vinedressers) - a movement which advocates respect for the environment and the implementation of less-invasive winery practices).

"I'm aware that I'm just a small tessera in the larger, important mosaic which is this Soave winegrowing territory and which I'm sharing my own and my family's future with today." Graziano Prà (in Andrea Zanfi's book 'Veneto')

You can serve Soave Otto with dishes local to the Veneto region such as polenta, baccalà (dried salted cod), and bigoli (thick wholewheat spaghetti). It also pairs really well with ravioli and tortelli, seafood (clams and shrimps), grilled meat and risotto.



Created with images by PaulNI - "mussels eat food delicious seafood fresh nutrition" • Julien Pianetti - "Risotto Bowl" • AlexNut - "tortelloni pasta tortellini food italian meal cuisine"

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