La Prebenda Farm
What does a priest get for his righteous work in the religious field? If he’s lucky, he’ll be rewarded with a prebend as a source of income, and it’s likely to be a farm. That’s where the name of this cozy farm comes from: it belonged to a church in Brentino. The Zanoni family has been growing grapes and producing various delicacies here since 1930.
Continuing the tradition, Paolo and his son Stefano cultivate 10 hectares of vineyards, where they grow both well-known grape varieties, such as Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, yellow Muscat, followed by something unique: Enantio.
You’ll hardly hear about this variety outside the Valdadige, or to be more precise, outside of the area named “Terra dei Forti”, i.e. “Land of Castles”. However, “forte” also means “strong”, and this word fits Enantio best: the grapes are resistant even to severe frosts, that’s why it can be harvested up until early November.
This rarest autochthonous variety became famous back in I BCE when Pliny the Elder mentioned that Enantio grows north of Verona. To be honest, for centuries, no one had any clue regarding which vine he had in mind.
Enantio suddenly showed its strong temper during an epidemic that hit most of the other vines. In the 19th century, all of Italy was struck by grape phylloxera. This tiny fly destroyed all the Veronese varieties except... Enantio! The parasites couldn’t reach the roots that went deep into the sandy siliceous soil. But Enantio couldn’t be grafted to save the other vines, and 80% of Europe’s vineyards died. Only century-old Enantio vines, like the last dinosaurs, still resisted in this valley.
However, its name was different at the time: one of the botanists thought erroneously is was related to Lambrusco. In 1992, the classification was revised and the ancient vine was given back its true name. But Enantio never became widely popular: its yield is limited and it’s hard to transplant it into other soils. So, the only chance to enjoy it is to taste the wine from Enantio where it is made, admiring the view of the Adige Valley!