Elisabetta Foradori is pure Italian. Even before you know her name or hear her speak with that charming lilt in her accent, it is something about the way she looks, the way she expresses herself and that deep, dark mysterious, yet mischievous look in her eyes, that lets you know that she is Italian...never mind that she looks like a young Anna Magnani.
The Azienda Elisabetta Foradori is in the small village of Mezzolombardo in the Dolomite region of Northern Italy, close to the Austrian border. Her son came to New York last year when I met him. And while I haven’t had the chance to meet Elisabetta, I understand she is a beautiful, elegant and charming woman, with a warm and welcoming personality that she has given to her son. Just as soon as he opened his mouth to talk about the Foradori wines, I realized that they were a reflection of Elisabetta: elegant and intense.
Elisabetta was, as she says, "born in the cellar." Her grandfather started making wines and her father followed. But, when Elisabetta was only 20, her father died suddenly and the young woman was thrust into the family business with no other choice other than to make wine. An avid nature love, Elisabetta began replanting the vineyards, using techniques that were much more natural, changing the way the vines were cultivated. She completely dispensed with chemicals, herbicides and pesticides, becoming one of the earliest winemakers in Italy to embrace biodynamics. That was in 2000.
The first decade or so were tough as the vines struggled to find their natural equilibrium and the soil slowly found its richness. But it paid off. Today, Elisabetta is known as the godmother of biodynamic viticulture in Italy and has worked extremely hard to restore the diversity of the Teroldego grape native to the region.
"Now...it is easy to make good wine. The grapes make the wine on their own," she says proudly. Teroldego is indeed a special wine that is definitely worth looking for. It is the parent of syrah and behaves very similarly: dark luscious fruit, full bodied and a hint of spice. Each of the Foradori wines come from single vineyards and super interesting. They are reserved and elegant but explosive and expressive all the same. The Morei is aged in amphora.
Here at Eli's List, we have:
2012 I.G.T Teroldego Vigneti delle Dolomiti Morei $64
2012 I.G.T Teroldego Vigneti delle Dolomiti Sgarazon $64
2012 I.G.T Teroldego Vigneti delle Dolomiti Sgarazon Magnum $120
2010 I.G.T Teroldego Vigneti delle Dolomiti Granato $83