Q & A Antichello

Named after a fictional character from 19th or early 20th century literature, “Antichello” is described as a naughty, witty boy with magical talents – the likes of David Copperfield combined with Peter Pan. Antichello wines are modern in style with fresh dark fruits. Created and owned by the Begnoni family, the winery is in Pedemonte close to Verona. Luciano Begnoni, owner and manager of the winery, answered our questions.


 How did you get started in the wine business? When and why was Antichello founded?
Santa Sofia winery was founded in 1811, but we have produced wines in the area since 1300. The Begnoni Family, which runs the business today, acquired the winery in 1967.





What is special about winemaking in the Veneto?

The region has a long history of winemaking. It offers many opportunities, as we have many different microclimates, terroirs and native varietals, giving us the opportunity to produce wines well-known for their quality around the world, along with the possibility to experiment with different styles.






Which winemaking techniques do you use? What do you enjoy most about being a winemaker

As we offer different wines from the region, we use several different winemaking techniques.
Our winemaker aims to represent the identity of the land and of this historic winery. It is a challenging job, as each harvest has different conditions. The region also offers many opportunities to experiment and create products which must be coherent, forward seeing and meant to last. Finally, as I always say, the very best wine is yet to be produced.





What is one of your favourite varietals to work with and why?

The traditional grapes from Valpolicella, which are Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella. These are beautiful varietals and they give life to the most important wines of this region.




Which winemaking traditions, if any, are most important to you?

Amarone della Valpolicella, Valpolicella Ripasso and Recioto della Valpolicella, which are the most typical, well-known and ancient wine traditions here.





What is one of the hardest things about winemaking year in and year out?

Each harvest is different and it is always challenging to get the best from every vintage, trying to make wines that coherent with the denomination and with our style.





Our Masters of Wine particularly enjoyed Antichello Vespero Red Blend and made it one of their ‘Coup de Coeur (favourites). Can you tell us more about this wine?

This wine is made with Corvina (60%) with a brief Appassimento process (drying of the grapes) for about 40 days, and 40% of a blend of native red grapes. The wine produced exclusively from the Corvina is aged in big barrels of Slavonian oak. Blends are usually creative wines, and they can be the best opportunity for the winemaker to express their creativity. We try to produce original and eclectic products but at the same time portraying the typicity of our region. That’s why we chose only native varietals, playing with the winemaking techniques.





What is your most memorable wine or wine-tasting experience?
Back in 2017 we had the opportunity to present a 12-litre bottle of Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Classico 2011 to Japanese Princess Hisako Takamado, for a charity event with 1000 guests, and it was a very exciting moment.


Is your winery open for visitors? How can Opimian Members get in touch?

Yes, we organize tours and tasting from Monday to Saturday, you can find details here: https://www.storiedivalpolicella.it/tour-e-degustazioni or you can write us at comunicazione@santasofia.com