Valtellina


The northernmost wine region of Lombardy has been producing wine since the 5th century and is found in the valley of Adda River traveling west to east through the Alps. The vineyards in this area are located at high altitudes around 600 m near the town of Sondrio. For most of its history, the Valtellina region's primarily market was its exports to nearby Switzerland to the north. In recent times it has garnered international attention for being the only major Italian region to focus on the Nebbiolo grape, locally known as Chiavennasca, outside of the Piedmont region.
The vineyards of the region are located on the south facing slopes along the Adda river. The nearby mountain peaks serve as a protecting influence from cold, harsh winds and helps to trap the heat in the valley. The stony vineyard soils also retains heat and releases it during the night to warm the vines. This creates an optimum situation to allow the Nebbiolo grape the long, slow growing season it needs in order to fully develop its flavors. The steep location of the vineyards makes mechanical harvesting difficult so most vineyards are tended by hand which increases the cost and limits production. Unfortunately heavy winter rainfall poses the hazards of landslides and soil erosion.

The red wines of the Valtellina regions are typically light to medium bodied. The Nebbiolos are noticeably less tannic and acidic than their Piedmont counterparts. The Valtellina DOC includes the basic level wines while the Valtellina Superiore DOCG include wines from the more premium location and must be aged a minimum of two years. The Valtellina Superiore Riserva are reserve-style wines that must be aged for at least four years. Valtellina also produces an Amarone-style wine known as Sforzato made from dried grapes with a minimum alcohol content of 14.5%, which was the first Italian red wine made of dried grapes to get DOCG.

VALTELLINA SUPERIORE DOCG
  • Grapes: blend of grapes: Nebbiolo 90 % , up to 10% of other non-aromatic red wine varieties recommended and authorised (Pignola, Rossola, Brugnola)
  • Colour: lively ruby red colour with garnet edges.
  • Bouquet: intensive profumes distinctive almond aromas and hint of bitterness in the finish.
  • Flavour: medium bodied dry wine with moderate alcohol and lightly tannin.
  • Aging: Minimum 24 months; at least 12 months in wood.
  • Alcohol: 12%
  • Best served with: delicious with read meats, game, cheese or sausages from Valtellina
  • Serving temperature: 18-20°C opening the bottle 1 hr in advance.

SFORZATO 'SFURSAT' DI VALTELLINA
  • Grapes: blend of grapes: Nebbiolo 90 % , up to 10% of other non-aromatic red wine varieties recommended and/authorised (Pignola, Rossola, Brugnola)
  • Colour: deep red garnet colour
  • Bouquet: intensive profumes of raisins, liquorices and leather aromas.
  • Flavour: full bodied dry wine with strong tannin.
  • Aging: Minimum 24 months; at least 12 months in wood.
  • Alcohol: 14%
  • Best served with: delicious with read meats, game, cheese or sausages from Valtellina
  • Serving temperature: 20°C opening the bottle 1 hr in advance.