L'Arco [Veneto]

Not many 17-year-olds would have the foresight to seize a career building opportunity to work side-by-side with a master craftsman. For wine drinkers with a passion for wines of the Veneto, it is fortunate that winemaker Luca Fedrigo possessed that vision.

L’Arco is the result of that life-changing decision.

To fully appreciate Luca’s story, you must first get to know legendary Amarone maker Giuseppe Quintarelli, who offered Luca an apprenticeship that ultimately evolved into more of a father and son relationship.

For Luca, a fiery and passionate Ducati racer and madly in love with Quintarelli’s grand-daughter, the position meant Luca must learn patience, passion for the wine and embrace what some would consider Quintarelli’s eccentric style of winemaking. True to Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” Luca was raised very differently than the agrarian lifestyle of the Quintarelli clan. As Luca began helping in the family vegetable garden, trust began to develop between the two men. Quintarelli was seeking a successor true to his personal winemaking philosophy. Quintarelli saw Luca as pure, a blank slate upon which to etch his knowledge.

For more than a decade, the two men worked alongside one another in the vineyards and the cellar where Quintarelli passed on his vast knowledge of winemaking techniques, emphasized the importance of the region’s traditional techniques, and taught Luca respect for Valpolicella zone’s indigenous varietals. Long days often turned even longer when Quintarelli would direct Luca to stay late nights in the cellar, “to be with the wine.”

Luca, at age 20, founded L’Arco in 1998 on 17 acres that are just a short walk from the renowned Quintarelli estate. The vineyard rests in the most traditional of the seven Valpolicella zones, Negrar, which has roots as deep as pre-historic times. Today, it is known as a rich agricultural commune 68 miles west of Venice. L’Arco, literally “the arch,” is in tribute to a 16th-Century stone arch known as “Arco di Giove,” visible from the Fedrigo farmhouse.d to Valpolicella.

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