LOTO is the Italian word for “Lotus”. But why should a wine be named after this sacred plant of Buddhism and Hinduism? This can only be explained by a seemingly magical story. Within the grounds of the Villa Santo Stefano Winery there is a small lake, built in the 1940s by the previous owners, the Bertolli family, to assure the irrigation of the lush gardens even in very dry summers. The lake lies in a protected area at the foot of a small forest and several small streams replenish it when it rains. In the middle of summer, two years after Wolfgang Reitzle had acquired the property, he and his wife Nina Ruge made a fascinating discovery: unusual water lilies had developed on the lake, not at all similar to those that had been there before. Their leaves were significantly larger and even started to rise above the water surface. Some of the large, deep green leaves even rose on their stems that held them in the middle up to half a metre above the water. And the beautiful flowers unfolded with the rising sun and when daylight faded they closed completely – such beauty! Gigantic artworks in deep pink, with bright yellow pistils in the middle.
Still wondering why the top wine of this property is called “LOTO”?