bellaguardia Italian wine landscape

Bellaguardia

According to the ancient Romans, good wine was produced wherever there was a castle.  This could quite easily refer to the the two castles of Bella Guardia and della Villa, also known as the castles of Romeo and Juliet, that dominate the hill of Montecchio Maggiore.  Here, the argillaceous soil changes within the space of a few meters, in correspondence with small volcanic craters dating from different periods.  The summit of the hill is characterized by the presence of tuffs, which originated from the deposits of volcanic explosions.  The hillside vineyards of Bellaguardia, therefore, lie on soils that have evolved on carbonatic rocks with argillaceous deposits.  These soils are very rich in minerals and the variability of their composition creates unique and different wines.

It is no mystery that wine is the result of the happy and lasting alliance between nature and man.  Ideal climate and terrain would be to no avail, in fact, if passion, together with rigorous respect for tradition, didn’t guide the hands of the grower and cellar man.  Passion is a way of life that has always accompanied Bellaguardia.  They use systems of sustainable or integrated agriculture, which have a low environmental impact.

Grapes are traditionally handpicked and immediately cooled to preserve good quality,  then delicately and patiently processed to produce exclusively classical (champenoise) method sparkling wines.  Every phase of the production is carefully controlled, up to the disgorging, again performed by hand, bottle by bottle.

The refinement of wines, before and after disgorgement, takes place in ancient underground caves which lie underneath the castles and that have natural temperature, humidity and ventilation characteristics that are optimal for the maturing of our classic method sparkling wines, giving the product very distinctive quality characteristics.

Bellaguardia Extra Brut 2009 has been included in the Top Hundred 2013 wines by Golosaria and selected as the official sparkling wine for Milan Expo 2014.

filippi wine cellar

Filippi

Filippi  was named as one of the four Italy’s Rising Stars by three Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Chairs for Italy in May 2013.

The history of the Filippi estate dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, when the Visco Family becomes the owner of the villa and cellar of Count Alberti (relatives of the Filippi family).  The combination of the lengthy wine-making tradition of the Visco family with the far-sightedness of the Filippi’s gave way to a passion for wine that united respect for tradition, know-how and research.

Filippo Filippi, who runs the estate, represents the current generation of the family.   Filippi began bottling his own wine in 2003, but his family has been making wine since the Visco family bought the estate from the Alberti’s.  He began farming organically and was certified organic in 2007.

Filippi Soave estate and vineyards are located in Castelcerino, on the highest part of the Soave DOC area, where a mixture of volcanic and limestone soils combine to produce intense, mineral and dry white wines of textural completeness.  The old vines (dating back to the 1960s) are rare for Soave in being planted with heirloom cuttings of Garganega, Soave’s classic grape.  The Filippi organic farming methods aim at ensuring the excellent quality of the product, keeping an eye to the respect of the environment and to the consumers’ health.

All of the Soave wines are 100% Garganega.

frozza vineyard

Frozza

The Azienda Agricola Frozza is a tiny family-run winery situated in the heart of the Valdobbiadene DOCG appellation (Colbertaldo di Vidor), in the Veneto region and long recognized in the region for producing terroir-infused Prosecco Valdobbiadene from extreme, super steep mountain side vineyards situated in prized historical sites.  No consulting winemakers, no cultured yeasts, no purchased grapes; rather, 100% estate old vines tended with the traditional Pergola system, reproduced from massale cuttings and located in the most extreme, rocky, steep parcels to be found in the Valdobbiadene area.

The Frozza estate vineyards stretch over 8 Hectars, all concentrated in historical sites such as Col dell’Orso and Federa.  Twenty-five to fifty years old vines allow for ideal growing conditions here (South-South and South-East exposure), plunging their roots direct into the cracks of giant white stones from the Piave alluvial valley [‘Sasso Bianco del Piave’ terroir].

The Azienda Agricola Frozza rejects cultured yeasts and prefers to produce his own pied-de-cuve from indigenous yeast strains collected over the years throughout isolated and abandoned vineyards found in Colbertaldo di Vidor.

la costa vineyards

La Costa

La Costa wine farm is situated in the Euganean Hills, near Padua.  It is a very old estate and the first documented accounts go back in the mid of the 1800’s.  The Euganean Hills have been known since the ancient times for their particular conformation and their particular climate.  Their unique and complex nature makes this place magical and beautiful.

The complexity of the underground, largely of marine origin and hit by two different volcanic eruptions, is perfect for growing grapes.  Grapevines were already cultivated on these hills in the 5th century B.C.

In this place, the Facchin family started their activity and the company extends today for over 100 hectares in different areas of the Euganean Hills.

La Costa offers different wines that result from a combination of both local and family traditions.   The respect for the tradition and the culture of their land is something that makes this producer stand apart from others.

Le Ragose vineyard

Le Ragose

In 1969, the winemaker Arnaldo Galli and his wife, Marta Galli, began to research and experiment new techniques in vine-growing and wine-making.  They bought the 70-acre Le Ragose estate which had been abandoned.  They replanted the Le Ragose and Le Sassine vineyards and began making Amarone and Valpolicella following traditional methods as much as possible.

Le Ragose estate is situated at the North of Verona, in the Valpolicella area highest hills (350 m / 1,148 ft).  Le Ragose estate lies on steep slopes that require all vineyard work to be done by hand.  The terraced vines face South West: the low humidity and the excellent sun exposure are particularly suited for “appassimento”, the process of drying grapes essential to the production of Amarone.  This ideal climate also allows for successful ripening of grapes.  The soil is clay laced with magnesium, calcium and iron on well-draining tufaceous subsoil, providing grapes with precious nutrients.

Marta Galli, often referred to as “the Lady of Wine,” was voted “Wine Maker of the World” in 1990 by her peers because of her influence in re-establishing Valpolicella as a classic in Italian wine.  She was also a founding member of the prestigious “VIDE”  organization of small family-owned estates as well as “Le Donne del Vino”, an international group for women in wine.  Paolo (manager) and Marco (winemaker) now manage the property and remain faithful in the vision they share with their parents – a vision where even the simplest wines are made to evolve and age beautifully for years.

The family commitment is to focus on quality and not on quantity, with the outmost respect for traditions, but always keeping an eye on modern technologies, both in vine-growing and in cellar.  This quest is mirrored by the aging techniques adopted in the cellar: large Slavonian oak casks, traditionally used in the area are used to refine wines together with both new and used French Allier and Tronçais barriques and tonneaux experimentally used in special vintage wines, both respecting the uniqueness of the terroir and the character of the grapes.

The Amarone “Marta Galli” has often been quoted as one the best Valpolicella wines by most international wine magazines as the Wine Spectator and the Wine Advocat.