When I met Elizabetta Foradori I had to admit that the wines I was trying were not familiar to me even though I had heard and read about the winemaker since Elizabetta Foradori is considered as one of the most influential female winemakers in the world.
I met her at Vini Birre Ribelli in Brussels earlier this month. The winery has been established for more than 100 years in 1901 and was eventually bought by Vittorio Foradori in 1929. The first ever vintage of ‘Foradori’ was produced in 1960. Elisabetta took over the winery in 1984 after completed her studies at the S. Michele all’Adige’s wine school and faced her first vintage.
She worked to convert the winery to a biodynamic farming system in 2002 and in 2007 the winery joined VinNatur and started making natural wines.
Foradori have been making use of biodynamic farming in their vineyards while diligently working with great care in the cellars for over 10 years. This has led to excellent results. Elizabetta is humble and easy going even though her wines are of exceptional quality.
Elizabetta has been working for the past 25 years with the grape Teroldego which I admit was a new discovery for me.
We started the tasting with the Manzoni Bianco 2013 which is a grape variety that is a mix of Riesling and Pinot Bianco. The end result is amazing. We then moved on to the 2012 Fontanasanta Nosilosanta which was also a very good wine.
This was followed by the 2012 Sgarzon Teroldego, a wine which was one of my favourites. All the wines are aged in amphoras from Spain and Elizabetta Foradori.
We continued with the 2012 Morei another Teroldego wine which had a beautiful red fruit nose and was extremely balanced. Our next wine was the Granato 2011 which also was a well balanced wine made from vines that are over 70 years old. Elisabetta told me that the 2011 wine was very different from the 2012 because the fermentation took very long. “It is a very interesting wine. Some people love it, others hate it,” she told me. Personally this was another excellent wine.
A profile of the winery
Elizabetta Foradori has been working with the Teroldego grape for the last 25 years. She admits that as a young graduate of the wine institute in Alto Adige she did not listen to the land as she was more preoccupied with the survival of the winery. In the early days, she made wines using normal agricultural procedures to make flawless wines. But towards the end of the 1990s, she felt that the wines she was produced lacked a soul and she says that when she looks back she is filled with gratitude because it is through those perceptions that she finally found her true self.
She is focused on producing grapes and wine that express the true essence of the land. She says that she wants to leave this land healthy and alive for her four children.
Foradori does not intervene in the winery; nothing is added. They started working biodynamically in 2002. Biodynamic farming is a “solar” agronomic operation: every action in the field tends to bring the Sun’s forces into the soil’s and plant’s vital processes. Our planetary system is truly a living organism where each planet’s sphere of influence penetrates the sunlight that permeates the Earth. The use of biodynamic preparations catalyses these forces.
They harvest the grapes from vineyards covering 26 hectares – 80% of Teroldego, 15% of Manzoni Bianco and 5% of Nosiola – to produce an average of 160,000 bottles per year: 90,000 of Foradori, 20,000 of Granato, 20,000 of Fontanasanta Manzoni Bianco, 8,000 of Fontanasanta Nosiola and 10,000 for each of the vineyard Sgarzon and Morei.
The winery is found in the mountain ranges of the Dolomites, which is a World Heritage Site, found between the Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions and delineate a landscape of extraordinary beauty.
The soil and its stones, ample differences between day and night temperatures, the breezes that blow punctually from lakes and valleys, the heat that is first absorbed and then released from the cliffs are some of the factors which lead to these exceptional wines.