Natural resources and brewing ingenuity give birth to the high-quality wines of Valtellina.
The Vineyards of Valtellina, Lombardy. Valtellina is located in the province of Sondrio, in the northernmost part of Lombardy. It is a land of red wines, each distinctly unique, owing to the terraced vineyards found high above sea level (2,500km to be exact). In the sunniest areas of the Rhaetian Alps, the terraced vineyards are partitioned with rock embedded into the earth amongst the mountain slopes. The red wines produced in this region are monitored by the Consortium for the protection of Valtellina Wines, and these wines are almost exclusively made using locally grown Nebbiolo grapes.
Sforzato di Valtellina and Valtellina Superiore Sforzato di Valtellina, also known as Sfursat di Valtellina, is a dry red raisin wine, and is the first Italian wine to be awarded DOCG. The vineyards are around 400 to 450 metres above sea level, and exclusively grow Nebbiolo grapes. The grapes are allowed to ripen, but left on the vine and essentially “forced” to wither, with the grapes being harvested just before they spoil. This gives the wine its name Sfursat, meaning “forced”. The resulting wine is a deep red, reminiscent of garnets, with fragrant undertones of spiced fruit. It is a full-bodied wine with character that leaves strong notes of jam on one’s palate. The wine is labelled at 14%, and is recognised worldwide for its intense taste. Valtellina Superiore DOCG is a red wine made from 90% Nebbiolo grapes, with the other 10% being a blend of Brugnola, Rossola and Pignola. It is a red wine of a ruby or garnet hue, with a rich and velvety flavour enhanced by age.
Rosso di Valtellina DOC and Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio IGT Aside from the Nebbiolo grapes which makes up 80% of a batch, the remaining 20% is a blend of other varieties. The wine is a glistening red which turns a deep garnet shade when aged. The flavour contains hints of cherries and spices while leaving an acidic aftertaste in the mouth, and its fragrance is reminiscent of violets. These red, white and rose wines are made using various blends of the following grapes varieties: Nebbiolo, Pignola, Rossola, Merlot, Fortana, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero, Riesling Renano, Barbera, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The IGT classification (Indicazione geografica tipica or ‘Typical Geographical Indication’ equivalent to Vin de pays) is awarded due to 85% of the grape blend being the local Nebbiolo, Pignola, Rossola and Pinot Nero varieties.