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Valle Reale Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2013
Valle Reale was founded in 2000 with the goal of producing world-class wines. Working primarily with the Montepulciano varietal, the Pizzolo family strives to make wines that highlight the grape’s intrinsic qualities: strength, exuberance, vitality, color, elegance, balance and depth. The process begins with the careful selection of clones that are best suited to Valle Reale’s soil and climate, and therefore best express the distinct characteristics of the varietal. Their success is evident in the young, vibrant DOC base wine, and even more so in the cru, a new benchmark for Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Located in the green heart of Abruzzo, Valle Reale’s vineyards are situated inside one of Italy’s most beautiful national parks. This is a wild paradise, with deep gorges carved by glaciers, crystal-clear springs and a diverse array of flora and fauna. Valle Reale is one of the few wine-producing estates in this area of pristine beauty. The topography and climate of this part of Abruzzo is completely different from the rest of the region and unique within central Italy. The vineyards have thin soils rich in limestone, with a light base of clay and sand. The proximity to the Gran Sasso mountain range, and the altitude of the estate itself, create wide fluctuations in temperature between day and night. The grapes grown at Valle Reale take advantage of constant cool breezes that ensure good ventilation and minimize humidity — ideal for the development of fine aromas. Perfect ripening temperatures are reached only in late fall when the first snow whitens Mount Morrone. The geographic and climatic peculiarities of this area are reflected in the wines, which are characterized by the trademarks of fully mature fruit: fresh, elegant perfume and aromatic complexity.
Trentino, the southern half, is primarily Italian-speaking and largely responsible for the production of non-native, international grapes. There is a significant quantity of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Merlot produced. But Trentino's native and most unique red variety, Teroldego, while still rare, is gaining popularity. It produces a deeply colored red wine rich in wild blackberry, herb, coffee and cocoa.
The rugged terrain of German-speaking Alto Adige (also referred to as Südtirol) focuses on small-scale viticulture, with great value placed on local varieties—though international varieties have been widely planted since the 1800s. Sheltered by the Alps from harsh northerly winds, many of the best vineyards are at extreme altitude but on steep slopes to increase sunlight exposure.
The primary white grapes are Pinot grigio, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot blanc, as well as smaller plantings of Sauvignon blanc, Müller Thurgau. These tend to be bright and refreshing with crisp acidity and just the right amount of texture. Some of the highest quality Pinot grigio in Italy is made here.
Also known as Ugni blanc in France, Trebbiano claims a top slot in white grape vineyard acreage on a global scale. This amber colored variety is productive and very widely planted in both France and Italy, the world’s two major wine-producing countries. There are six distinct varieties with Trebbiano as part of their name in Italy alone and it is cited in over 80 DOC regulations—more than any other single variety.
Trebbiano Toscano, one of the most popular, is deliciously light and crisp. Trebbiano d’Abruzzo actually has some aging potential when handled carefully. Ugni blanc is responsible for the whites in the southwest of France called Gascogne blanc.
Characterized by green melon, lemon grass, apple flavors and a long, tingling finish, these are fun and often value-priced so make great alternatives to Sauvignon blanc if you’re looking for something new to try.