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SUADELA: Italy’s Finest Wines by its Most Respected Winemakers

Extremely limited edition wines that showcase Italy’s diverse regions and winemaking traditions, delivered quarterly to members.

SUADELA Explorers Club

The latest SUADELA Collezione degli Enologi, part of the Explorers Club.

It’s a simple idea and a strong one: Offer eight of Italy’s most respected winemakers the opportunity to craft wines that express their favorite regions and grape varieties, and that above all they would love to drink themselves. The result is SUADELA, started eight years ago by a group of like-minded friends with a passion for the food, wine and culture of Italy. They release these wines in limited bottlings of only about 2,000 each, providing wine lovers and collectors with the chance to enjoy something ephemeral and special. No more than 360 bottles per wine are reserved for allocation here in America.

To ensure access to all of their wines, SUADELA has formed the Explorers Club, with quarterly deliveries of six bottles – two SUADELA wines, three bottles of each, for $239 plus shipping. The next shipment will be September 2024, but for the first twelve new members who join by Father’s Day (June 16), the Explorers Club experience will begin with the April 2024 shipment.

Shipped upon joining, it features two critically acclaimed and sought-after wines: 

  • SUADELA Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2015 by Paolo Vagaggini, formerly of Biondi-Santi (95 Points, James Suckling); and
  • SUADELA Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore DOC 2019 by Umberto Trombelli

All SUADELA wines are perfect for drinking today, or for adding to a cellar for aging, and have received glowing reviews from the likes of Robert Parker, James Suckling, and Jancis Robinson. They are expressions of the winemakers’ lifelong devotion to the soils and grapes of their regions.

The SUADELA winemakers – Beppe Caviola, Riccardo Cotarella, Gioia Cresti, Lorenzo Landi, Gianni Menotti, Barbara Tamburini, Umberto Trombelli, and Paolo Vagaggini – have selected ten of Italy’s most beloved winemaking regions: Campania, Friuli, Lazio, Marche, Piedmont, Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany, Umbria and Veneto.

For instance, Giuseppe “Beppe” Caviola, one of the "Barolo Boys" who revolutionized Piedmont winemaking, has made wines in the Langhe for decades, practicing minimal intervention in his own personal farm and winery. For SUADELA, Caviola has so far made two Barolo DOCGs, using grapes from the same small vineyard parcel (only seven rows of vines!), in the commune of Novello.

The 2016 perfectly represents this most celebrated Barolo vintage of the past decade, largely due to temperate weather that allowed for very slow ripening of the fruit. This resulted in an elegant and rich wine, with well-rounded tannins balanced by lively acidity, delicate oak complexity, and a long harmonious finish. It drinks beautifully now, but will develop further in bottle for decades. The 2018 vintage balances more delicate tannins and acidity, yet offers similar richness and oak complexity, is fresh and elegant, and very approachable – which makes it perfectly suited to food pairing. 

Barbara Tamburini
Barbara Tamburini.

Looking south to Sicily, award-winning winemaker Barbara Tamburini explains her love for the island: “My dedication to local grapes is what drew me to Sicily, where more than 70 varieties are used for vinification, over 20 of which are autochthonous.”

For SUADELA she has made a 2020 Nero d’Avola Sicilia DOC, with grapes from two tiny vineyard parcels in Riesi. Only ten miles from the southwestern coast, cool Mediterranean breezes slow the ripening process, which leads to lower alcohol levels in the wine. The result is a deep ruby red wine, with smooth tannins due to careful use of French oak barriques, excellent freshness, hints of herbs and spices, and a long fruit-driven finish. The conclusion on “I can't think of a better Nero d'Avola that I've tasted.

Up in the northeast of Italy, childhood dreams of professional skiing and tennis notwithstanding, Gianni Menotti became the winemaking authority in his native Friuli, after extended apprenticeships in both Burgundy and Champagne. He used a blend of Friulano, Pino Bianco, Riesling Renano and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, for both the 2016 and the 2020 SUADELA Friuli Colli Orientali Bianco DOC.

Two refreshing dry white wines, with complex minerality and long finishes, but very different expressions of the grapes from this micro-climate against the Slovenian border. This is reflective of the very different weather patterns during the respective growing seasons, which led Menotti to use different grape variety percentages as well as vinification methods (steel and light oak, versus steel-only).

In short, these winemakers have honed their skills and experience in their own vineyards and wineries, as well as advising Europe’s most prestigious wine producers, and they put their own names on the labels of all SUADELA wines, in a proud declaration of confidence. Just as SUADELA takes its name from a Roman goddess known for her powers of persuasion and seduction, these bottles represent the ability of Italian wine to enrapture those who drink it.

SUADELA's idea is unique and, as the quality of the wines show, very effective. Now, American wine lovers have the opportunity to experience these wines, conveniently delivered four times a year, with Explorers Club membership. Each quarterly delivery is $239 plus shipping (with a minimum commitment of three shipments), and membership comes with:

  • Two SUADELA wines per delivery, with three bottles of each wine (for a total of six bottles per delivery)
  • Detailed vineyard, vinification, and winemaker information accompanying each delivery.
  • Four deliveries per year: February, April, September, November

Explorers Club memberships are the only way to secure allocation of all SUADELA wines, including sold-out favorites, such as the SUADELA Cannonau di Sardegna DOC 2015.

More information is available on the SUADELA website, which also includes a helpful, concise overview of the regions, video introductions to the winemakers, and more. Join the Explorers Club today, whether to experience the wines yourself, or to offer as a gift to a family member, friend or colleague who will truly enjoy exploring the diverse expressions of Italian wine and its culture.

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