Selvazzano Dentro and Baone, Veneto In the extreme northeast corner of the Colli Euganei is La Montecchia, a single hill, forced out of the Paduan plains by ancient volcanic activity, crowned by a frescoed hunting lodge, central to 45 hectares of vines. Giordano Emo Capodilista lives across the road in Castello di Mottolo, a fortified farmhouse a few hundred metres from the hunting lodge – perhaps better described as a Villa, the lodge may be modestly sized and beautifully proportioned but it is very grand. The estate is a historical gem, lived in and sympathetically restored. Over the years the vineyards have retreated and now only occupy the best positions, the less interesting land now has the ignominy of being a golf course. The Montecchia vineyard receives the attention of a prized garden and is planted with the classic Colli Euganei varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot for red wines and the whites are Pinot Bianco and Moscato Giallo. There is also a long-standing project to re-introduce other historical vines like Carménère, Raboso and Turka. Carménère was introduced to these hills centuries ago and was once officially misnamed as Cabernet Franc, no more. La Montecchia have their own ancient plantings of a particular Carménère clone, ancient DNA that confirms so much of the future lies in the past. The Raboso experiment is a wider one, Montecchia formed part of a working group to revive the fortunes of this Venetian vine, rarely seen outside the Piave. The last vine, Turka is probably, as the name suggests, from Turkey and is absurdly rare, it is difficult to get hold of samples, let alone actually import it. Giordano also bought prestigious land near Baone at the turn of the century and these wines first arrived in 2005. This vineyard is on the southern extremities of the Colli Euganei and is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Moscato. Their success has been remarkable: Donna Daria was the first Fior d’Arancio to receive three glasses from the Gambero Rosso and the Irenèo has been equally successful. This is one of the oldest uninterrupted family wine estates in Italy. The Emo Capodilista family is rooted in the history of Venezia and Giordano takes his responsibilities to the Colli Euganei extremely seriously, though responsibility doesn’t seem to weigh too heavily, he is a light-hearted and generous man. The fact that we still recognise most of the faces at Montecchia from the time we lived there in 2003 says a lot.