It is a unique territory, rich in biodiversity and variability as to environment, geology and morphology. The success of this largest terraced area of Italy (820 hectares that turned into 2,500 terraced kilometres), is incredibly ancient, thanks to a well-built viticulture tradition in the Rhaetian Alps, representing a natural amphitheatre. This tradition became a source of self-consumption and income, also due to the proximity to the Swiss border. The wines produced in such area were successfully exported since the Middle Ages. Protected by the effects of the Alpine currents, properly exposed to the light, orographically rich, also caressed by the breeze coming from the Lake Como, the Valtellina region has always shown its great potentialities. Late grape harvests, rigorously carried out though manual processes, take place during the second half of October, with the particular “gerle”, that are a sort of pack baskets used by the “portini” (men moving along steep plots of land).
Wines produced in the Valtellina region can be labelled as Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio IGT, Rosso di Valtellina DOC, Valtellina Superiore DOCG and Sforzato (or Sfursat) di Valtellina DOCG.
The wines of the appellation Rosso di Valtellina DOC must be composed of at least 80% Nebbiolo (called “Chiavennasca” in Lombardy region) to which can be added a 20% of other grape varieties such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Rossola, Prugnola or Pignola. The Rosso are most often from vineyards near the Adda River, which are also the lowest in altitude. They are also often from young vines.
Terazze Retiche di Sondrio IGT includes reds, whites, sparkling Nebbiolo and late harvest.