Monday, December 12, 2016

A Visit to Villa Margon and a Dinner with Ferrari Winery at Locanda Margon, Italy

(November 2016) On our last evening in Trentodoc we were truly spoiled with a tour and seated tasting at Ferrari Winery, followed by a visit to their historic Villa Margon and dinner at their Michelin star restaurant called Locanda Margon.

Entrance to Ferrari Winery Tasting Room in Trento, Italy

Ferrari was started in 1902 by Giulio Ferrari, who had a dream of creating world-class sparkling wine in his homeland of Trentino. After studying winemaking in France, he returned and started Ferrari and today it is one of the most well-respected sparkling wines of Italy. See video

When we asked if they were related to the Ferrari car company, we were told that the name “Ferrari” in Italy is very common – like Smith in the US. So no relationship, but the two firms have agreed to support one another and not infringe on copyright issues.

Ferrari owns 85 hectares and also purchases grapes from 600 families in order to produce around 4.5 million bottles of sparkling wine per year. They export around 20%, but want to increase this. Today it is owned and operated by the Lunelli family. We met with Matteo, Camilla and Marcello during our visit and dinner.

Wine Tasting at Ferrari Winery in Trento, Italy

We tasted five wines (see photo), and all were excellent.  Even the basic NV Brut Ferrari which sells for only 13 euros was extremely well made. A blanc de blanc, it is filled with pear, apple, lemon and has a big creamy texture. I found all of the Ferrari wines to have a fuller-body than the majority of the leaner more focused wines we found in much of Trentodoc.

Wines Tasted at Ferrari Winery in Trento, Italy

The grand cuvee is the Giulio Ferrari, which is always aged 8 year on lees and is fermented in 10 to 20% oak. We tried the Giulio Ferrari 2005, which actually tasted a little young, but had a pure, streamlined nose of nuts and lemon carrying through on the palate with spice and apple.  Big, complex but with a creamy mouthfeel and an elegant finish.  Very satisfying. Average price of $66 per bottle.
A Visit to Villa Margon – 500 Year Old Country Mansion

Built in the 16th century, Villa Margon is perched on a hill above the winery with a sweeping view of the city and hills of Trento.  With its beautiful Venetian architecture of rounded arches, tiled floors, and very famous frescos, which cover almost every wall, the villa is truly one of the most aristocratic houses in the Dolomites.  Many famous people have stayed in the villa over the years, including Emperor Charles V. It was also owned by a baron and became a hunting preserve for a while.  It was donated to the Lunelli Family, because they had the money to maintain it, and continue to do so today – keeping it open for visitors.

Villa Margon at Night

The frescos that cover the wall are amazingly bright and vivid in color, even though they date from the 16th century! The scenes range from biblical to romantic to war, and would take months to study them all in-depth. One of my favorites was a mural of the different seasons of the vine. The rooms of the mansion are also beautifully decorated with antique furniture and unique chandeliers.

Frescos and Chandelier in Villa Margon

Dinner at 2-Star Michelin Restaurant - Locanda Margon

As if they didn’t have enough on their plates, the Lunelli Family decided to open a restaurant on the hill above Ferrari Winery, which they call Locanda Margon. They hired chef Alfio Ghezzi, who within a short time turned it into a 1-star Michelin restaurant, only to be award 2-stars the week after we left!  Certainly the Michelin inspectors had been there before us, and it was truly a two-star experience.

One of the Many Exquisite Dishes Served at Locanda Margon Restaurant in Trento, Italy

Arriving at the restaurant we were ushered into a private dining room and enjoyed the special menu and wines listed below. Each dish was a work of art, and the different tastes were dazzling – especially offset by the sparkling wines that helped set them afire on our taste buds. To add to the experience, we were honored to have Camilla Lunelli join us during the dinner and offer eloquent toasts to make the evening even more memorable.

Amuse Bouche
Ferrari Perle Bianco 2006, Trentodoc

Gamberi E Arachidi  - Zenzero e caviale
Ferrari Perle Nero 2008, Trentodoc

Riso Mantecato – Trentingrana, mele e timo
Ferrari Riserva Lunelli 2007, Trentodoc

Agnello – Camomilla e polenta di patate el Vezzena
Ferrari Perle Rose 2009, Trentodoc

Piccola Pasticceria
Ferrari Maximum Demi-Sec, Trentodoc

Zucca E Castagne – crema al limone, cioccolato e polvere di coffe
Segnana Grappa Solera

Thank you to Ferrari and the Trentadoc Wine Association for a once in a lifetime visit to the exquisite Italian Alps and the sparkling wine made by the mountains.

No comments: