Winery of the Month – MAY 2017
For the month of May we have chosen to venture way up north to the Swiss Italian border and the region of Valtellina. Here on the feet of the Rhaetian Alps lies a rugged and mountainous area of terraced vineyards. This is not your typical rolling hill wine region that you see in pictures.
The main grape is Nebbiolo which is known locally as Chiavennasca. Valtellina is roughly 60 miles north east of Milan along the Adda river. Here vineyards sit at altitudes of between 750 ft to 2500 ft. The best vineyard sites are south facing with a slight westerly orientation. The vineyards are so steep that machine harvesting is impossible. This has led to some interesting systems to cut down on the 1400+ hours of manual labor to harvest the grapes. There are cable systems called teleferiche that help and in some areas they actually use helicopters to airlift the grapes out. There are two main types of wines made here Valtellina and a Amarone like wine called Sforzato made of partially dried grapes.
In the 1960’s there was a winery of some renown called Arturo Pellizatti. There was falling out in the family and in 1973 the winery was sold. After the sale, it was combined with several other wineries and started making higher quantities and lower quality wines. Arturo Pelizzatti Perego did not like the cheapening of his family’s brand and set out on his own. In 1984, he started his own winery with about 24 acres of vines. In 1986, he was able to buy back the families cellars. Since he couldn’t use the Pelizzatti name he used a condensed form of his name, and Ar.Pe.Pe. was born. In 2004 Arturo passed and the winery is now run by his daughter Isabella and her two brothers.
Rosso di Valtellina
This an entry level in name only. The fruit comes from 50-year-old vines in the lower regions of the Sassella sub zone. It is a pretty wine that shows the house style wonderfully. Light bodied with cherry and red berry fruits along with some rose petals. Classic Nebbiolo.
Regularly $39.99 Sale $33.99
Rocca de Piro
Here the grapes come from the Grumello sub region. The wine is medium bodied with mature tannins. Lots of red fruit with cherry being the dominant one. Some rose and floral notes with a light herbal undercurrent.
Regularly $57.99 Sale $47.99
This wine comes from a single plot in the heart of the Sassella sub region. You will see cherry again but also some darker fruits like plum. There are also some earthy notes and baking spice, think nutmeg or maybe clove. The wine is a little denser than the previous two and has longer barrel aging. Tannins are present but not real grippy.
Regularly $99.99 Sale $79.99
Now we get into some serious high vineyards, about 2000 feet above sea level. The grapes for this wine are picked late and allowed to dry on the vine. This is a big dense wine with tons of dark sweet fruit flavors while keeping some of the Nebbiolo floral qualities.
Regularly $115.99 Sale $98.99
May 18th Dinner
Isabella will be joining us on May 18th to lead a dinner featuring her wines. The price for the dinner is $60 a head and it will begin at 6:30. If you would like to attend give us a call, 410-224-1330