This is an old photo of Alvaro and his daughter Federica from Lis Neris at Vinitaly in 2008. I met Alvaro in 2007 and consider him a friend. His winery is celebrating their 140th year, 1879-2019. I got to spend some time speaking with Alvaro this week at the various Slow Wine events where I was working for the Lugana consortium. Alvaro’s winery is located in San Lorenzo, very near the border with Slovenia. The soil is a gravelly tableland and Alvaro, a very meticulous winemaker, has the grapes picked by hand. His wines are all amazing and much like Alvaro himself, elegant and slightly restrained. I visited the property years ago and have tasted all of his wines through the years. I have never visited his relais though. I was looking at it online and thinking about how to get there soon. I didn’t get the chance to try any of them this week as I was so busy at my stand but I look forward to my annual Vinitaly tasting. I hope the stand looks like same. He does.
One of his wines I have never tried, BBK, is made from grapes grown in Slovenia and vinified in Italy. I didn’t think anyone was doing that. It makes sense as they are so close. I will definitely try that new one. He makes so many that are worthy of note – Gris, Lis, Picol, Jurosa, Confini, Tal Luc, Cabernet Sauvignon and the list goes on.
Lis Neris also has a foundation, Fatto in Paradiso which is dedicated to Alvaro’s elder daughter who passed away at 21 in an accident in December 2002. They do amazing work all around the world with children in her honor and to celebrate her memory and what she loved. They have won another award for this work recently. Abut 10 years ago I went with Alvaro to San Gimignano to receive a prize for the foundation. I never had the pleasure of meeting Francesca but through the descriptions on the website and the other members of the family, I get a sense of what she was like.