Diletta Tonello

Veneto, Italy


At a Glance
  • Producer of indigenous variety whites and methode champenoise sparklers
  • Vines planted in 1989 on volcanic soil
  • Made in the small but important Monte Lessini Durello and Lessini Durello appellations between Verona and Vicenza

Diletta Tonello is a young winemaker who was referred to us by her friend Silvia Zucchi. Silvia and Diletta lives shared similar trajectories, like Silvia, Diletta has recently started her own micro wine project at her family’s winery, originally founded in 1980. Diletta grew up around the winery and then attended a high school focused on agriculture. She then went on to study winemaking in Padua. Following school, she spent a few years working harvests in other regions to broaden her experience before returning to the winery to assume the role of winemaker in 2013.

Diletta focuses on indigenous grapes, namely Durella and Garganega. Durella is a grape gaining attention. It has everything that we like in a white wine: low alcohol, great acidity and freshness. This naturally high acidity also makes the grape well-suited for metodo classico, i.e. methode champenoise wines. The appellation for the still wines is Monti Lessini Durello and the appellation for the sparking is Lessini Durello (Durello used for the appellations though the grape is Durella).

Diletta owns 12 hectares of vines in the prime subzone for Durella, the Montorso Vicentino area nestled between Verona and Vicenza. The soil in this appellation is volcanic clay which adds a salinity and minerality to the wines. The vineyards were mostly planted in 1989 and are grown on traditional pergola veronese and are hand-harvested. The winery is scheduled to be certified organic in 2023 though they have been working organically for many years.

The wines are each named after women from Greek mythology. The still white is named Io Cloe or “I am Cloe”. Chloe is another name for Demeter, the goddess of the harvest. This wine ferments in concrete and then stays in concrete for a full year followed by one more year in the bottle before release. She believes this time in concrete and bottle makes the acidity more harmonious and the wine more balanced. But the wine is bright and fresh, with soaring crystalline fruit and screaming acidity and actually improves in the glass and bottle after it is opened. It’s practically begging for some oysters or other seafood. She also makes two sparkling versions, the first is named Teti after one of the Greek titans linked with water. This wine spends 36 months on the lees before being disgorged after which it rests in the cellar for at least three months before its release. The Teti is a great value sparkler with tons of character! The second, called Aura, is aged for 60 months on the lees, and then finished without dosage. It is a bit more leesy and textured, and super complex as well.