Spontaneity in a glass of wine
Stefano Menti is the perfect example of spontaneity. Talking to him is a bit like meeting up with old friends at the bar. Maybe it’s the Venetian accent, maybe it’s his affability, but it feels like being with family. He is a man who was catapulted into the world of wine partly by chance and partly because of feelings that bound him to his family, but who now no longer has any doubts about his future.
Cantina Menti has been through a lot in the course of its history. Troubled events and stories of family disagreements, but like all fairy tales, there is always a happy ending. In this case, Stefano is the brave knight who rides in on his steed to save the company. He leaves his job, returns to Italy and takes over the reins of the winery. And to think that he didn’t even like wine. But people change, they grow, and he is the perfect example.
“Cantina Menti attracts the curious not only because of Stefano’s strong personality, but also because of the traditional techniques used to produce the wine.”
We are located between the provinces of Vicenza and Verona, where a small number of wineries use this ancient method of drying. The bunches of Garganega, the typical grape of the area, are hung and fixed to the ceiling (picai). This technique allows the bunches to be protected from the humidity of the ground and from possible outside visitors, such as small rodents. But, as Stefano explains, to ensure gravitational selection. Faulty rot falls to the ground naturally, leaving only healthy bunches to dry. In the winery, a completely natural drying process is used, with no humidity or temperature control with external instruments. All this underlines the idea of organic and biodynamic viticulture.
The result? Two unique wines: the Passito Albina and the Passito Vin de Granaro. The former is aged in French oak barrels for 12 months and the latter in oak barrels for 6 to 10 years. It is well known that the most beautiful stories are those that last over time, and in the case of Cantina Menti this is exactly how it is. A love so deep that it has led them to the exclusive use of organic techniques. No fertilisation, only biodynamic compounds and a harvest that is carried out exclusively by hand.
“Stefano Menti’s story is an example of independence, but not only for himself. There is a curious story that hovers around Cantina Menti: that of Marco Barba and the Barba Boys, as Stefano himself defines them.”
What links these two characters? Respect for nature, animals and the genuineness of the products and the processes involved. These principles have given rise to a friendship which today is also a collaborative working relationship where two different identities work under the same roof. Sharing the love of their work.
Patrizia, born in 1992, graduated in Architecture at the Politecnico of Milano. I’ve always loved this world of stories, stories and construction techniques, but what really didn’t convince me was the idea of spending my life between subway trips, fixed schedules, patterns and habit. It was exactly in front of the possibility of having a permanent contract that I decided to leave for America. To do what, you may be wondering? To realize the first of my many dreams: being a cook. And here I am, writing stories of my travels, of the people I met during my transoceanic trips and handing down the recipes of the dishes I taste around the world.