September Zipps Pack: Vallana Alto Piemonte

“Vallana creates Spanna with extraordinary life spans, their breeding, substance and longevity showing no compromise whatever with conceptions of mass consumerism.”Burton Anderson

The first wines of our new monthly Zipps Pack are three different wines produced by Vallana in Alto Piemonte, Italy. The Vallana family has a history of making wine going back to the 18th century Antonio started the current iteration of the winery in 1937 and was one of the only wineries who stayed in production after WWII. While other families sold or abandoned their vineyards for better paying industrial jobs in the cities, the Vallana family held on to their heritage and struggled to keep making wine. By the 1950’s his son Bernado was making wines that stood alongside the greats of the time including of Giacomo Conterno and Bartolo Mascarello of Barolo.Image result for alto piemonte wine map

Today Antonio Vallana’s great-grandchildren Marina and Francis are using many of the same traditional methods and vineyard practices. They have adhered to the terroir of the region and resisted the temptations of following fads and modernizations that some Barolo producers adopted, including liberal use of new oak.

Alto Piedmont, in the Northwest corner of Italy, lies on the border between the Mediterranean climate and the temperate climate of continental Europe. The presence of large lakes mitigates extreme weather events, and the micro-climatic effect of the alpine valleys gives Northern Piedmont a very unique climate.

Winters are usually cold and dry, springs are mild and rainy, and summers are hot from the end of May to the end of September. From the middle of August until the harvesting mid October, the swing in temperature from warm days and very cool nights is perfect for ripening grapes.   The soil of this area is rich in iron and other micro-elements essential to the growth of the grapevine.  The unique weather and soil conditions, together with centuries of farming and wine making tradition, are keys to understand the originality of Vallana wines.

Because of the specific terroir of this area, Alto Piemonte has some of the best growing conditions for Nebbiolo, locally called Spanna.  The other important traditional native varieties of this terroir are Vespolina and Uva Rara. They are normally used to blend with Nebbiolo.

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The 3 Wines ($59.99 w/ double points!):

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Campi Raudii  2014

Campi Raudii (red fields, in Latin) is a battle that took place in Northern Piedmont on the 30th of July 101 BC, when Proconsul Lutatius Catulus defeated the Germanic Cimbri.  After this battle the Romans introduced viticulture in this territory, and history inspired the m


ost famous Vallana label.

Vinification takes place in cement tanks in order to obtain a wine suitable for medium to long aging. The wine is released it after two years of maturation. Campi Raudii is a Nebbiolo based cuvée, ruby red, fresh, fruity, very elegant and smooth on the palate.


Spanna Colline Novaresi 2013

Spanna is the most traditional Nebbiolo based wine in Alto Piedmonte.

Our grapes are thoroughly monitored during each ripening stage to ensure the best quality and to set the best harvest date, usually in the first half of October.

Vinification takes place in cement tanks in order to obtain a wine suitable for medium to long aging. The wine is rele

ased after two years of maturation.

This ruby red wine shows a deep aroma, with spices and red fruit. Gentle and persistent on the palate, the flavor reminds dried fruit and red/black fruit.


Gattinara DOCG 2007

Gattinara  d.o.c.g. is the King of Alto Piemonte. It fills with astonishment those who try it for the first time, and it is always a marvelous habit for those who already love it.

Gattinara is a 100% Nebbiolo wine produced only in the town of Gattinara, on the western side of the River Sesia. The grapes are handpicked in the first half of Octobe

r and they are vinified in large cement tanks. The wine matures for at least 2 years in large oak barrels. It takes a few years in the bottle to fully develop its potential.

The wine is austere and elegant, with a large and complex aroma, gentle and deep on the palate.

Gattinara is a Nebbiolo with a vocation for long and very long aging.



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