Authenticity is everything With a passion for its roots, the prestigious, family-owned wine estate Tenuta San Giorgio stands for artisanship, dedication and technical expertise. The estate’s outstanding location in Ticino’s Malcantone can be tasted in their intricate wines - and so can the great deal of passion that is involved in the wine-making process here. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTOS: TENUTA SAN GIORGIO
Bought by great-grandmother Emma Rudolph-Schwarzenbach in 1940, Tenuta San Giorgio’s land was primarily used for agriculture at first. “When my dad took over the estate in 1990, more vines started to be grown and people quickly recognised the location’s potential. The idea to make more out of it was born,” smiles Mike Rudolph who moved to Ticino in 2001 to establish a viticulture and vinification entreprise on his great-grandmother’s land. Today, Tenuta San Giorgio cultivates around seven hectares of vines in unique locations, produces around 30,000 bottles 48 | Issue 63 | June 2018
annually and belongs to Switzerland’s 100 best wine-growing estates, according to Gault Millau. The recipe for success “Our enthusiasm for wine and the allnatural cultivation of grapes, as well as thriving for the best, drives us every day. Of course, the unique location at Lake Lugano with its unique microclimate also helps us to pursue our goals,” explains Rudolph. The wine estate’s vineyards are situated in outstanding locations at an altitude of between 320 and 520 metres abo-
ve sea level, extending between Agno and Pura. The different plots are all comprised of unique microclimates that produceexcellent grapes year by year. Tenuta San Giorgio’s vineyards are almost exclusively situated in sandy, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic – moraines from millions of years ago. The sunlight exposure from the southeast and the southwest allows the wine estate to experiment with a range of vine species. “Therefore, we also grow Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Marselan in addition to Merlot. Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, Kerner, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Albarinho are white wines we experiment with. This gives us new experience and allows us to further develop our wines. Besides experimenting in the vineyards, we also break new grounds in the cellar to refine our wines,” explains Rudolph.