Tuscany's Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari have joined Long Shadows Vintners to produce a Columbia Valley Super Tuscan-style red called Saggi. The wine is predominately Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Like all Long Shadows wines, production of Saggi, (Italian for “wisdom”) is limited.
Long Shadows founder and President Allan Shoup invited the Folonaris to the Columbia Valley to become partners and make wine with him prior to the 2004 harvest after mutual friend Piero Antinori introduced them in Italy three years ago. “Like Piero, the Folonaris are committed to making high-quality, terroir-based wines,” says Shoup who introduced Antinori to Washington State while at the helm of Ste. Michelle.
above right, Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari
"Piero's enthusiasm for the Columbia Valley intrigued the Folonaris enough to make the initial trip to Washington but it was the diversity of the growing region and the quality of wines they found here that convinced them to join Long Shadows,” says Shoup. Since their first visit to the Columbia Valley in 2004, the Folonaris have frequently returned to review Saggi’s vineyard selection, oversee winemaking and join Long Shadows’ resident winemaker Gilles Nicault for blending.
“We were particularly impressed with Sangiovese from the Horse Heaven Hills,” says Giovanni, “and our enthusiasm for Saggi grew after numerous tastings convinced us we could make a wine true to Washington terroir with plenty of Tuscan character,” he says.
About the Folonaris
“This is an exciting time in the wine industry as partnerships such as Long Shadows allow us unique opportunities to pursue excellence and innovation,” says Giovanni, who trained at University of California, Davis, and is leading his company to produce distinctive, small-production wines from estate vineyards.