ABOUT THE WINERY
In the 1980s, four brothers—Armando, Tiziano, Paolo, and Massimo Castagnedi—began making their first moves toward opening their own winery. They had inherited 50 acres of vineyards in the eastern section of Valpolicella from their father, and in 1989 they purchased 75 more acres in the same general area. Their goal was to produce high-quality Valpolicella and other wines, but they knew they needed some time to hone their skills and get the vineyards producing at the level of quality they wanted. As an interim step, therefore, they started making wine under the brand name Scaia.
The brand name was a reference to the type of soil they had in their new vineyards—a chalky, granular soil that broke apart easily. Scaia is a word in Veronese dialect for crumbs, like little pieces of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese that fall off a large block, which the soil resembles. Scaia soil imparts a higher acidity and bolder cherry fruit character to the wines.
The Scaia brand was originally intended only as a temporary outlet for young vines that needed more time to reach maturity, but the line was popular and served a purpose of its own. So, even after production reached a level good enough to be labeled as Tenuta Sant’Antonio beginning in 1995, the winery continued to make Scaia as a less expensive, everyday option. It also became an avenue for innovation, where the Castagnedi brothers could experiment with new interpretations of the great traditions of Valpolicella and Veneto—for example, atypical blends of traditional grape varieties, or varietal wines from grapes that are usually blended. The resulting wines—white, red, and rosato—are strongly rooted in the region’s winemaking traditions, but with a fresh twist and at an affordable price.