Lombardy: A Different Interpretation of Nebbiolo:Day 1

By October 22, 2014Winemakers

We’ve started our Lombardy tour after a welcome dinner in Como at the city’s oldest restaurant: L’Angolo del Silenzio.

Our menu: Antipasto of soufflé di verdure, sfogliantina ai funghi, cotechino con fonduta, frittatina alle verdure; 2 primi: risotto in forma alla parmigiana and pennette with rabbit sauce; two main courses: stinco di vitello and tagliata di manzo alla senape; semifreddo ai tre cioccolati.

Many of us also had the best gelato in Como as suggested by the NY Times at L’Ariana.

Our first official visit was the next day as we traveled to the Valtellina and stopped for a tour and lunch at Mamete Prevostini, a consistent 3 Bicchieri award winner. The relatively small winery makes some truly wonderful interpretations of Nebbiolo which we experienced during our lunch.

Our menu: antipasto of brisaola di Chiavenna, lard and salami no bastard ell; gnocchetti bianchi di Mese al burro versato e saliva ( we saw stars!); pizzoccheri della Valtellina con cuori di verse e patate; guancialetto di vitello brasato ai vini di Valtellina su nido di polenta; dulcis in fundo

The menu was accompanied by these wines: Chiavennasca Rosato, Sassella, Albareda  Sforzato

Before checking into our elegant Grand Hotel della Posta in Sondrio, we visited the Sandro Fay winery. After a walk through the vineyards we had a tasting in a restored farm building in the vineyards conducted by Elena Fay: Costa Bassa, La Faya,  Valgella Ca Morei, Valgella Carteria, Sforzato Ronco del Picchio.

We learned that the dramatic difference between the Langhe and Valtellina nebbiolos is due to the soil and high altitudes which produces a fresh expression of the soil and climate. One person exclaimed: ‘ I can taste the stones’ which is a beautiful way to describe the minerality.

Sforzato means ‘forced’ and was developed as a way to counteract the high acidity of higher altitude grapes. The drying of the grapes in a process similar to the production of Amarone reduces the water content and concentrates the sugar.

Tomorrow we look forward to visiting Nino Negri, the largest and most famous producer in Valtellina.

Author Vin Marottoli

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