What Makes Valtellinese Wine Special?
Just a short drive from Hotel Miramonti, you will find yourself in one of the most famous, and oldest wine-making regions of Italy - the Valtellina valley. It is a region that almost exclusively produces red wines with the utmost quality. Premium and delicious, many luxurious hotels and restaurants supply these high-quality Alpine wines - just browse our Italian Restaurant Menu! The valley is so unique has even been nominated for UNESCO World Heritage title, making the locals incredibly hopeful that they will be awarded the title (that includes us). We recognise that wines made from these region are very special, read below for some of the reasons why:
“Producing wine for over 2000 years”
The Valtellina region of Italy has been producing wine for over 2000 years, dating back to the ancient Ligurians and Etruscans that settled in this area. Driving past, you will experience one of the most dramatic sceneries filled with vineyards, and just a glance over the horizon, you will find the snow-covered mountaintops towering over the valley - simply breathtaking! Located beside the Rhaetian Alps, the Valtellina valley creates the perfect environment for cultivating the bright, violet Nebbiolo grapes. This is thanks to the unique climate of the Italian Alps, along with its high-nutrient soil - well-drained and full of silica. The stones in the soil absorb the heat and release it during the evening, helping the vineyards to survive the colder nights. Furthermore, the cool winds blowing from Lake Como helps to prevent fungal attacks and maintain the right amount of moisture in the region.
“Planted at High Altitudes”
However, harvesting the grapes is quite a difficult task because the vineyards are planted at high altitudes! The terraces can be as high as 2,500 feet above sea level! Therefore, mechanising the harvesting process is almost impossible to do. Everything is manually handpicked, which explains why a bottle of the most exceptional Valtellinese wine is expensive. And as with the majority of produce in Italy - wines are highly regulated. Produce like cheese, ham and even leather have to be made in one designated area in Italy. You may have heard of DOCG wines; these are wines that have been given the name selectively. The primary purpose of regulating liquor is to keep its authenticity. With such strict regulations, the producers have to be mindful of where it is cultivated, what grapes are used, and even the methods for fermenting!
Valtellina Superiore DOCG
Valtellina Superiore DOCG is one of the most well-known wines for mountain viticulture. Produced with Nebbiolo grapes, it presents dry, full-bodied and tannic flavours along with notes of dried fruit, spice, hazelnut and liquorice. It is paired well with the local Valtellina dish “Pizzoccheri” and cured meats.
Rosso di Valtellina DOC
Made with pure Nebbiolo grapes, the Rosso di Valtellina DOC is the perfect wine for everyday drinking. Aged in wooden oak barrels for several months, it delivers fresh, floral and fruity notes. Again, it is paired well with the local Valtellinese dishes.
Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG
Perhaps the most potent red wine in the region, the Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG is made with traditional methods of air-drying the Nebbiolo grapes. It creates a dry, intense and rich taste, which offers aromas of sweet spices, prunes and raisins. By using this ‘drying method,’ it concentrates the alcohol and sweet syrup of the grapes, which explains its extra intense flavour.
For more articles about the local cuisine in Northern Italy, read our blog: