An interview with Federico Polacco, Bertani Wines

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On Wednesday 12th October we’re delighted to be bringing the inimitable Italian winery, Cantine Bertani, to Bristol for a very special one-off wine dinner. On the night we’ll be joined by Federico Polacco, Export Manager for Bertani, who’ll be sharing his unrivalled knowledge on these wonderful Italian wines, whilst we’ll be matching them to a specially created five course menu.

Ahead of this very special event we caught up with Federico to find out more about what makes Bertani so special…

Q: What is your role at Bertani?

A: Export Manager (Europe, UK, Norway, Baltics, ME, Canada)

Q: How long have you worked for them?

A: One year

Q: Can you give an overview of Bertani for people who may not have discovered you yet?

A: More than a century of history. Since 1857 BERTANI keeps on being the Master of iconic Amarone and Valpolicella/Veronese wines. Today BERTANI with over 200 hectares of vineyards in the most suitable areas of the Verona province, is a solid winery with a constantly increasing distribution in Europe and the rest of the world.

Q: Bertani is widely regarded as the original Amarone house. For those who might not know about Amarone can you tell us a little about Bertani’s?

a: Amarone Classico Bertani is the excellence of the winery, the wine that has made it famous all over the world: Bertani is Amarone, Amarone is Bertani.
Amarone for Bertani is respect for nature, first of all, means continuing in the choice of a place such as Tenuta Novare, the true soul of our Amarone. It is respect for our grapes with a natural drying method, that has always refused to use any kind of artificial conditioning.

It is respect for our wines to allow them to develop all their quality potential in the best possible way. The wine is aged for at least six years in Slavonian oak barrels and matures for a further 24 months in bottle. It is a slow but valuable process to let our Amarone wines develop their elegant aromas and what we consider fundamental characteristics for extraordinary longevity.

Q: What makes Bertani wines award winners?

A: In Bertani we believe that the consistency is the key of the success. We understood that the tradition is a decision resulting from research. For us however, tradition is not a goal that was achieved a long time ago that we just need to repeat, it is more about daily research and comparison to confirm a decision that is much more complicated and braver than some might think. It is an ongoing study to understand that the more we respect nature, the more we can get products with a strong identity-creating value, great personality and visibility. This is the Bertani heritage that we most feel the burden and importance of, in what we do every day. This is still the key of our success.

Q: When you’re pairing wine with food, where do you start?

A: This is a huge world with different philosophies all over the world. But what our ancestors have handed down about the tradition of food and wine pairing is that the two should find a perfect harmony on the palate.

Therefore, with a structured wine like Amarone Classico Bertani is recommended a dish with the same complexity but elegance, thus avoiding excessively spicy and greasy notes.

Q: Your famous Amarone is best served with what? In your opinion?

A: The Valpolicella’s land tradition would suggest the local risotto all’Amarone, Brasato all’Amarone, game like wildboar, wildhare and mature cheeses like blue cheese, but it is also perfect as a meditation wine at the end of a meal.

Q: There’s a shortage of wine (no) and you can only keep one variety- which do you choose?

A: Thinking of something not Italian, I have no doubt and I bet everything on Chablis!

Federico will be joining us on Tuesday 11th October for our wine dinner, which will be a fantastic introduction to this icon of Italian wine.  Our executive chef Piotr has created a truly spectacular menu designed to perfectly match a flight of Bertani’s finest red, white and dessert wines.


Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc IGT 2015


Beef carpaccio, bone marrow, anchovy puree, marmite cured egg yolk
Soave Vintage Edition 2014


Blowtorch mackerel,red pepper gel, black bulgar wheat, pimento, baby fennel
Valpolicella DOC 2014

Amarone risotto
Vintage Edition Secco Bertani 2013

Venison, red cabbage, potato terrine & Blackberry sauce
Amarone Classico 2007

Chocolate, orange, cashew nut ice cream
Recioto della Valpolicella DOC 2012

Tickets are £85 and include a delicious five course menu, with welcome canapés, served alongside five of Bertani’s award winning wines. We’ll be closing the restaurant specially for this exclusive one off event and places are bound to be in high demand, so book your tickets here and join us for a truly outstanding evening of fine food, fabulous wines and even better company.