Our final day in Italy dawned as sunny and warm as all the others. A final breakfast at the hotel, we cleared our rooms and put our bags into store, and boarded a small coach which took us round the corner (not quite literally) to the beautiful Palladian Villa Angarano.
Giovanna Bianchi Michiel, greeted us. She is one of five sisters who run the winery and look after the villa, which has been owned by their family for over a century and has passed down the female line. She explained that this is one of 24 Palladian villas around Venice, and is listed by UNESCO as ‘representing’ Bassano. Building commenced in 1548 but stopped with the first owner’s death; it then passed between a number of families until the 17th Century when it was completed, with a baroque upper floor. We were privileged to be taken on a walk through the villa, with its beautifully proportioned rooms, with panelled walls, polished mosaic flors and high ceilings, ending with the private chapel.
Since the 17th Century the villa has not only been a prestigious home (though the family who live there seem to occupy more modest apartments than the splendid rooms we saw), but also a working farm, including the winery. In the stable block we tasted the wines.
We started with the 5 Sisters Rosé, made from Merlot, with a fresh fruity creamy structure. The dry Vespaiolo 2018 had a lovely mouthfeel, which balanced the acidity we have learned to expect from the grape. The Ca’Michiel Chardonnay, which had spent 10 months in oak was lovely, well worth laying down, while their ‘basic’ Merlot was super. The Quare de Angarano, their flagship red, made from Cabernet Sauvignon with the help of two years in French barrique, was superb – we tasted the 2012, which had loads of fruit, tannin to make it worth laying down and a beautiful finish. We completed our tasting with the Torcolato San Biagio 2015, harvested in October, dessicated in boxes for 5 months and fermented and aged in new oak. It was gorgeous – lime marmalade, honeyed and I could see why it would go with Giovanna’s recommendation of Gorgonzola.
We thanked Giovanna for being so generous with her time and showing us the family home, and a few of us bought some wines (a Jereboam of the 2009 Quare is coming home with the Syrads). Then back into Bassano for a final stroll and bite to eat, before heading back to Venice airport. All in agreement that this was a wonderful area to visit, with wines that constantly surprised us (always in a good way), delicious food and lovely people.