Just east of the town of Trento, Italy, lays the small village of Civezzano. Within this small valley between high mountains is Federico Simoni’s Pinot Nero and Sauvignon Blanc vineyard, Maso Cantanghel. The small 2 ha Clos (a vineyard contained within a wall) is Federico’s answer to Burgundy. ‘Maso’ is smaller that the Italian ‘fattoria’, a very small farm under 10 ha. ‘Cantanghel’ is a very old name, ‘anghel’ in their dialect means corner, as the vineyard shapes a corner on top of the hill.
Federico and his father Lorenzo purchased Maso Cantanghel in 2006, though the vineyard has been producing since 1984. Federico felt this was the perfect site to produce elegant Pinot Nero for many reasons – elevation, soil, and climate. Strong winds from the southern Lake Garda flow up the valley allowing Federico to farm organically easily. His Pinot grapes have very fine skins and the constant wind helps keep moisture away, thus reducing the threat of botrytis and disease. 2008 was their first organic vintage. Federico does not use fertilizers or herbicides, only sulfur and copper when necessary.