Aldo Rainoldi Sfursat di Valtellina Ca' Rizzieri 2009
In the northern Italian Alps, a patchwork of steeply terraced vineyards graces the northern side of the valley in Lombardy that stretches 25 miles east to west. The vineyards, all facing south, receive optimum sun exposure and are ideal for growing grapes. Winemaking here dates back to the first millennium and nowadays Valtellina is the only well-established and recognized wine region almost completely dedicated to growing and making Nebbiolo. In that valley, our history began in 1925 when Aldo Rainoldi started selling wine in Lombardy and in Switzerland. During the Sixties Giuseppe, Aldo’s son, started to export our wine all over the world especially in U.S.A., Canada, Japan and Europe. Giuseppe realized immediately that he had to extend the range of our products in order to meet the needs of increasingly cosmopolitan and international customers. At the end of the Nineties Aldo, Giuseppe’s nephew, after his graduation at University of Viticulture and Oenology of Turin, started supporting Giuseppe in managing the company and making wine.
Containing an exciting mix of wine producing subregions, Lombardy is Italy’s largest in size and population. Good quality Pinot noir, Bonarda and Barbera have elevated the reputation of the plains of Oltrepò Pavese. To its northeast in the Alps, Valtellina is the source of Italy’s best Nebbiolo wines outside of Piedmont. Often missed in the shadow of Prosecco, Franciacorta produces collectively Italy’s best Champagne style wines, and for the fun and less serious bubbly, find Lambrusco Mantovano around the city of Mantua. Lugana, a dry white with a devoted following, is produced to the southwest of Lake Garda.
Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area, as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Somm Secret—If you’re new to Nebbiolo, start with a charming, wallet-friendly, early-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba.