New faces at Marc de Grazia Selections 2014
More new faces in our selection!
Azienda Agricola Bussia Soprana
Silvano Casiraghi, who owns the estate together with Guido Rossi, has been in the wine business for 45 years. Till 2011 Silvano had a wine distribution company working with French wines and with important Italian estates, he then decided to dedicate himself full-time to his property.
Azienda Agricola Bussia Soprana was established in 1992, when Silvano purchased holdings in the homonymous zone. In 1995 other holdings in the zone of Mosconi were added when Guido Rossi became a partner and in 1999 other vineyards standing in the Gabutti della Bussia zone were added. At present, the vineyard extension is 22 hectares (all located within the municipality of Monforte d’Alba) in prized crus for the production of Barolo: Colonnello, Gabutti, Mosconi and Bussia Soprana.
Not all of the four Baroli made from the four different crus (in the very best vintages a riserva version is also made) are released every year: only the wine that reaches the highest quality standards is bottled.
The Baroli mature in large Allier oak casks of a capacity of 30 hectolitres in order to maintain the character of the four crus which very much differ the one from the other. Furthermore, these wines are released on the market not after a determined period of time, but depending on their evolution.
The estate also has vineyards in excellent locations for the production of Barbera.
Bussia Soprana is practicing organic and meticulous and natural practices are followed in the vineyards.
Total vineyard extension: 22 hectares
Average annual production: 50,000 bottles
TRENTINO ALTO ADIGE
Azienda Agricola Falkenstein
The estate has belonged to the Pratzner family for 400 years. It is located at 675 meters above sea level on a sunny hill near the village of Naturno, in the lower Venosta valley, 12 kilometres from the town of Merano in Alto Adige. The climate of this lovely valley is dry and windy. The soil is poor and difficult to cultivate. The altitude and the prehistoric rock of the soil are ideal for the production of white wines with great character and of delicate reds. The vineyards stand above the picturesque castle of Naturno and have been managed with a great passion for over 15 years by Franz Pratzner, the present owner, together with his wife Bernadette. Franz is the agronomist and the wine maker of the estate as well.
The vineyards, all with southern exposure, extend for 12 hectares and are planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. Apple trees, peach trees and Schiava (Vernatsch) vines were previously cultivated in this location. The vine training system is espalier (Guyot) and the vineyard density is 9,000-12,000 vines/hectare.
Sustainable/integrated viticulture is pursued, grass is left on the aisles between the rows of vines, and specific leguminous plants are sown every 5-6 years. Copper and sulphur base products are mainly sprayed and only organic fertilizers are used.
The cellar, with very modern equipment, has been totally renovated in the last two years. Acacia casks, of a capacity of 10-40 hectolitres with a temperature control system, are used to vinify and mature the white wines, which are kept on the lees till bottling. Acacia wood is neutral so that the complex aromatics of the wines are maintained.
The wines are rich and structured, the fruit is intense and complex with a lively and fresh acidity.
The Italian and international specialised press consider the Riesling is one of the best produced south of the Alps
The average production is approximately 90,000 bottles/year.
VENETO AND LOMBARDIA
The brothers Luciano and Franco Piona own the following three estates that we are very happy to welcome in our selection:
Azienda Agricola Cavalchina (Custoza, a district of Sommacampagna, province of Verona),
The estate was established at the beginning of the 1900s, when the first vineyards were purchased. The cellar was built later and part of it was used as a distillery of grape marc till 1967. In 1962 Cavalchina was the first winery to call the white wine of this area (a blend of Fernanda, Trebbiano and Garganega grapes) “Custoza” and to sell it in Rome and in Milan, the most important markets of the time. Only the grape varietals that are most suited for the area are grown, yields are kept low and only the best clusters go into the wine that is bottled. Modern technology is used in the cellar, but tradition is also respected. The wines produced are: Bianco di Custoza DOC, Bardolino DOC, Bardolino Chiaretto, Bardolino Superiore DOCG.
The vineyard extension is 40 hectares. Total average production/year: 373,000 bottles
Azienda Agricola La Prendina (Monzambano, province of Mantova)
This estate was purchased by the Piona family in 1958 and vineyards were planted. The origins of La Prendina go back to the times of the Gonzaga, Lords of Mantova (XIV century). In the beginning the wines were released with the label of La Cavalchina and the first wine with the label of La Prendina was a Merlot bottled in 1980 for the famous chef Gualtiero Marchesi. As of 1990 the wines of this estate have their own brand. Environment friendly practices are followed in the vineyards in order to favour the concentration in the wines, without altering but enhancing the main characteristics of the different grape varieties. The wines produced are: Merlot Garda DOC, Alto Mincio Pinot Grigio IGT.
The vineyard extension is: 50.33 hectares Total average production/year: 360,000 bottles
Azienda Agricola Torre d’Orti (Marcellise, in the Valpolicella zone, province of Verona)
The estate, in the Valpolicella area, is named after the ancient watchtower of the Castle of Montorio. Terracing where the farmers used to grow olives, grain and vines can still be seen. The Piona family recently purchased this land and planted vineyards with the indigenous varietals of Valpolicella. The soil here is the typical red soil of the area mixed with white chalk. This type of soil combined with the altitude gives great elegance to the wines and makes them suitable for a long ageing. As in the other two estates, natural practices are followed in the vineyards, the grape yield is kept low and only the best clusters are vinified. Modern technology is used in the cellar bearing tradition in mind. The wines produced are: Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG, Valpolicella DOC, Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso DOC.
The vineyard extension is: 10.61 hectares Total average production/year: 71,500 bottles
Cataldo Calabretta Viticoltore
The members of the Calabretta family have been viticulturists for four generations and have produced wine since the 1970s. The father of the present owner, Cataldo Calabretta, had a vine nursery. Cataldo studied oenology and viticulture in Milan and worked for various estates in Italy from 2000 to 2008. In 2008 he established this estate with his sisters Maria and Michela. Between 2008 and 2012 the old cellar was restructured together with the existing glazed concrete vats (these are frequently found in the cellars of southern Italy). In 2012 the Cirò Rosso Classico wine was bottled for the first time. The philosophy of Cataldo is focussed on the production of Cirò Rosso, an ancient wine the origin of which goes back to the Greeks and the Bizantines. This Cirò is made exclusively with Gaglioppo grapes, the vineyards stand on hills (the average altitude is approximately 50 meters above sea level) and the vines are freestanding. Cataldo says that his Cirò is the expression of the century old experience of the “Cirotani” viticulturists and that is why the “arciglione”, an instrument used to prune freestanding vines in this area, is designed on the label.
The estate is certified organic.
Azienda Vitivinicola Mura
Azienda Vitivinicola Mura is in the north west of the island near Olbia, six kilometres inland and was established in 1975 by Filippo Mura, the father of Salvatore and Marianna, as a hobby. He planted 7 hectares of vineyards on the old bed of a river after levelling the land out and removing a lot of the granite rocks.
Since 1999 Marianna and Salvatore work full time at the estate after Filippo entrusted them with the management. Marianna is the wine maker, she has a degree in biology and one in oenology and viticulture and has specialised her knowledge in white vinification in Friuli working for a season at the estates of Marco Felluga and Russiz Superiore. Salvatore is an agricultural technician, he manages the vineyards, together with Marianna, and he follows the marketing of the wines.
At present the vineyard extension is 13 hectares, 8 hectares are planted with Vermentino, the rest are planted with indigenous red varietals such as Cannonau, Bovale and Carignano. The altitude is 150-200 meters above sea level, the soil is made up of red clay, it has little organic matter and is rich in white, pink and purple quartzite and in granite.
The vineyards are beautifully tended, and natural practices are pursued.
Because of the composition of the soil and the vicinity of the Tyrrhenian sea, the Vermentino di Gallura (this is the only DOCG appellation in Sardinia) of the Mura family is particularly mineral, sapid, it has a lot of structure. Furthermore, these wines have a good acidity, due to the cool afternoon breezes, that make them fresh and vibrant.
Marianna’s version of Cannonau is different from the traditional one: the grapes are harvested earlier, the maceration with the skins is short (five days) so as to make fresh and fruity wines, with cherry and strawberry notes, wines that are appreciated also by a young public.
Marianna and Salvatore speak about their estate with enthusiasm and with love and this can be felt drinking these wines.
For more detailed information please visit the sections of our website dedicated to each producer.