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Palazzone Terre Vineate Orvieto 2010
Serving suggestions: Pasta and rice dishes with meat and fish sauces. The wine is suitable also for hot and spicy dishes.
Grechetto - 30%, Procanico - 50%, Verdello, Drupeggio, Malvasia - 20%
Palazzone produces delicious white wines from Umbria’s indigenous varietals featuring tasty fruit, nerve and zip! The estate, which began bottling in 1982, has mastered the delicate art of adjusting the proportions of the five different grape varieties allowed in the blend by the Orvieto D.O.C.: Procanico, Verdello, Grechetto, Drupeggio and Malvasia Toscana, the very same used hundreds of years ago in this region with Ancient-Roman roots. From the Terre Vineate to the Campo del Guardiano, a single-vineyard blend intended for ageing, these whites are survivors of the golden-age of Orvieto Classico, when small producers hand harvested fruit and established an international reputation for greatness, coveted by kings and popes. Of course, Dubini is no stranger to great, voluptuous reds, made from both native and international varieties. Such regulation has the aim to encourage low environmental impact methods and to improve the preservation of natural resources in rural areas through agricultural and environmental measures.
Palazzone is practicing organic. No insecticides, fungiscides or systemic plant protection products are used. Low environmental impact products like sulfur and copper-based products are used. In vineyards prone to soil erosion, there are permanent cover crops between the rows of vines. The grass cover is mowed during the summer and depending on vineyard, the soil is either tilled or not. Low doses of SO2 are used in the wines for preservation.
Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture that is virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes are grown just about everywhere throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. The defining geographical feature of the country is the Apennine Mountain range, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south. The island of Sicily nearly grazes the toe of Italy’s boot, while Sardinia lies to the country’s west. Climate varies significantly throughout the country, with temperature being somewhat more dependent on elevation than latitude, though it is safe to generalize that the south is warmer. Much of the highest quality viticulture takes place on gently rolling, picturesque hillsides.
Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but their use is declining in popularity, especially as younger growers begun to take interest in rediscovering forgotten local specialties. Sangiovese is the most widely planted variety in the country, reaching its greatest potential in parts of Tuscany. Nebbiolo is the prized grape of Piedmont in the northwest, producing singular, complex and age-worthy wines. Other important varieties include Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola and of course, Pinot Grigio.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.