The story of Buglioni shares the inspiring journey of its founders – father and son – and of the grapes that go into each bottle of the estate’s wine. A unique project driven by passion and ingenuity, Buglioni may have been born by chance but has firmly established itself as one of Valpolicella’s most forward-thinking contemporary estates.
A leap of faith
In 1993, Alfredo Buglioni bought an old farmhouse he had fallen in love with in the heart of Valpolicella Classica. The property happened to include 3.5 hectares of vines, planted with local red varieties; Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Molinara. The quality of the fruit was apparent but, without experience on viticulture or winemaking, Alfredo and his son Mariano didn’t know what to do with the season’s yield.
They decided to approach nearby wineries, and offered them the entire crop free of charge, in exchange for teachings on viticulture and winemaking. This fruitful exchange lasted for seven harvests, until father and son decided they were ready to take a leap of faith and work with newly graduated oenologist Diego Bertoni, to make their own wine.
From its humble – yet determined – beginnings, Buglioni has grown and evolved in both size and expertise. Now with a state-of-the-art winery on the property, Buglioni’s vineyard holdings cover 50 hectares in Valpolicella Classica, five hectares in Lugana and five hectares in Bardolino – all managed adhering to organic principles. Alfredo and Mariano have placed great emphasis on understanding of terroir, as well as using indigenous varieties, some of which are at risk of extinction.
Wine as a destination
The result of this fantastic journey is a diverse range of wines that Buglioni has created over the past three decades, each representing a specific path of exploration. At the core of the range, are the wines bearing the Valpolicella DOC stamp, which challenge many of the assumptions made about the different styles that have made the appellation famous – something the wines’ names playfully hint at.
Two iterations of Valpolicella Classico Superiore – the vibrant, deep yet lifted, (I’M)PERFETTO, and the fresh, chiselled 44 VERTICALE – surprise with their precision, transparency and drinkability.
The Ripasso Classico Superiore IL BUGIARDO (‘The Liar’ in English), on the other hand, strikes a perfect balance between gentle acidity, fruity warmth, and a smoky and spicy intensity, offering endless food pairing possibilities. It’s not by chance that Buglioni’s osteria in the centre of Verona – a favourite among locals – is named after this characterful wine.
Next in line to these rather playful siblings is the balanced and fragrant IL LUSSURIOSO (The Lustful) Amarone Classico and TESTE DURE (Hard Heads – a self-given nickname for Alfredo and Mariano) Amphora.The latter is a characterful Amarone Classico Riserva that ferments and spends its first year of ageing in clay amphorae, enabling it to preserve an earthy freshness that underscores its acidity and fresh tannins.
Beyond Valpolicella, there are many other Buglioni creations to discover, including IL DISPERATO (The Desperate) Bianco Tre Venezie IGT, a refreshing and food-friendly Garganega-based white, and MUSA (The Muse), Buglioni’s first foray into DOC Lugana. Connoisseurs will also want to try IL VIGLIACCO (The Coward), a Brut Rosé produced according to the Charmat Method using Molinara grapes.
Although indigenous to Valpolicella, Molinara was removed from the appellation’s list of approved grape varieties, prompting Buglioni to preserve its genetic material and cultural relevance by using it as the basis of two sparkling wines. Joyfully the opposite of cowardice, this choice to preserve a native variety is a perfect reflection of the producer’s ethos: to be a ‘rebel with a cause’, eager to carry on a journey of discovery, craftsmanship and sophisticated hedonism.
Buglioni is a true ambassador for the region.
Buglioni – Eight wines to try:
IL VIGLIACCO Spumante Brut Rosé
100% Molinara; 11.5% abv
Bright pink with fine and persistent mousse. Fragrant nose with a delicate floral scent, mingled with red berries. Fresh and dry on the palate, with savoury overtones.
MUSA Lugana DOC
100% Trebbiano di Lugana; 12.5% abv
Pale yellow with touches of green. Intense nose, with assertive aromas of flowers, orchard fruit and fresh citrus. Good structure and acidity with delicate mineral undertones.
IL DISPERATO Bianco Tre Venezie IGT
90% Garganega, 10% Incrocio Manzoni; 12.5% abv
Straw yellow with shimmering gold. Expressive nose with floral notes, as well as tropical fruit, mango and pineapple aromas. Round in the mouth, with a savoury touch, balanced structure and fine acid line.
(I’M)PERFETTO Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC
50% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 25% Rondinella, 5% Croatina; 13% abv
Deep ruby with distinct notes of ripe red fruit and black cherry, topped with vanilla and sweet spices. Mouth-filling and soft, with velvety tannins and harmonic structure. Organic certified.
44 VERTICALE Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC
65% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 15% Rondinella; 12.5% abv
Pale ruby red in the glass. Clean and elegant bouquet of fresh cherries, topped with white pepper. Glides on the palate, whilst being dry and detailed. The flavours are fresh and well defined. Organic certified.
IL BUGIARDO Ripasso della Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC
60% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 10% Rondinella, 5% Croatina, 5% Oseleta; 13.5% abv
Dark ruby in the glass. Intense and elegant aromas of ripe fruit and spices, with touches of vanilla and tobacco. Persistent and warm in the mouth, with onerous fruit flavours and velvety tannins. Organic certified.
IL LUSSURIOSO Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG
60% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 10% Rondinella, 5% Croatina, 5% Oseleta; 16.4% abv
Intense ruby in the glass. Scents of cherry (red and black) and white pepper, with mineral nuances. Soft, fresh and elegant in the mouth. Organic certified.
TESTE DURE AMPHORA Amarone Riserva della Valpolicella Classico DOCG
60% Corvina, 15% Corvinone, 10% Rondinella, 10% Oseleta, 5% Croatina; 17% abv
Dark ruby, with shades of garnet. The ancient art of ageing wines in amphorae gives definition and depth to the cherry and blackberry flavours. Spicy notes of white pepper, with hints of vanilla and roasted coffee add complexity and nuance. Full, enveloping and velvety in the mouth.
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