VALTELLINA AND ITS HEROIC WINES
Today, as yesterday, while traveling through the Valtellina, one is fascinated by the extraordinary landscape effect designed by a sublime architect of the territory which is the largest terraced mountain wine area in Lombardy. This area includes the coastal strip area between the municipalities of Ardenno and Tirano, for about 40 km in length, and is characterized by exceptional territorial and climatic conditions, such as the extraordinary insolation with over 1900 hours of sunshine per year, the constant ventilation with low rainfall, the humidity of the air on contained values, a high thermal gradient favored by the considerable mass of stones and rocks that characterize the terracing of the vineyards. Without these natural characteristics, the Nebbiolo vine would not have given life to the fabulous D.O.C.G. Sforzato di Valtellina and D.O.C.G. Valtellina Superiore. Valtellina is the only wine area in Italy to have two D.O.C.G. joint within the same production area. The other denominations are Rosso di Valtellina D.O.C. and the Rhaetian Alps I.G.T. The Valtellina Superiore D.O.C.G. can use the indication of one of the five subzones: Maroggia, Sassella, Grumello, Inferno, Valgella. The wine in Valtellina focuses on the evaporation of Nebbiolo, to be regulated at least 90%, the maximum production per hectare is 8 tons, the minimum aging of 24 months, of which at least one year in wood. The Valtellina Superiori also come with the Riserva version which must undergo a minimum refinement of 36 months.
VALTELLINA SUPERIORE D.O.C.G. MAROGGIA: it is the last in terms of recognition (2002) of the five subareas. The name seems to derive from Malaroggia, which recalls a river with an imperiavia surrounding area; in reality the territory of Maroggia looks like a pleasant and sunny place located on a slope of the Rhaetian side in the municipality of Berbenno.
VALTELLINA SUPERIORE D.O.C.G. SASSELLA: historically the best known red wine of Valtellina. It originates in the area west of the city of Sondrio, its name derives from the hill on which stands the Sanctuary dedicated to Modanna, one of the symbols of the Valtellina area. Sassella is a reference to the stones, to the succession of terraces supported by dry stone walls set in rock spurs.
VALTELLINA SUPERIORE D.O.C.G. GRUMELLO: it is a great wine produced in the north-east of Sondrio and it takes its name from the hill of Grumello where today stands the castle of Grumello which has dominated the valley since the 13th century.
VALTELLINA SUPERIORE D.O.C.G. INFERNO: the characteristic name (Hell) probably originates from the roughness of the ground and the very high temperatures that can be reached during the summer in the small terraces torn from the rocks. The production area of this wine, which is located immediately on east of the Grumello area, is the smallest of the five sub-areas and certainly the most inaccessible.
VALTELLINA SUPERIORE D.O.C.G. VALGELLA: the area of Valgella, whose name derives from valgel, a dialectal form to indicate small streams that careatterize the area, is located in the municipalities of Chiuro and Teglio and is the largest of the sub-areas.
SFORZATO DI VALTELLINA D.O.C.G .: it is the iconic wine of the Valtellina area, it is a vineyard and cellar wine, it is the first dry passito red wine in Italy to have had the D.O.C.G. (2003). Sforzato (Sfursàt in dialect) owes its name to an ancient technique of appasión of Nebbiolo grapes: the healthiest and ripest bunches, after being harvested by hand and spread out on racks, are naturally dried in fresh and dry rooms called fruit trees. Between January and February the dried grapes, which have thus suffered a significant decrease in their original weight with the consequent concentration of sugar and the development of aromatic substances, are vinified in red. The result is a wine with a dark garnet red color and an intense and warm aroma, whose overall minimum alcohol content is 14 degrees.
ROSSO DI VALTELLINA D.O.C .: the production area does not refer to sub-areas and includes the entire vineyard area of the province of Sondrio, from Ardenno to Tirano, also including the two vineyard areas on the side of the Orobie Alps. Rosso di Valtellina, in fact, is both a type of wine produced as a fallout within the D.O.C.G. areas, and a wine made with grapes from vineyards located on the edge of the main appellations, for example above 650 meters above sea level.
ALPI RETICHE I.G.T .: wines of creativity and curiosity. The area of production of the grapes for obtaining the wines includes the entire territory of the province of Sondrio. This denomination includes white, red, rosé wines, but also sparkling, passito and late harvest wines, sparkling wines obtained with the Classic Method, such as Rosè.