Sunday, September 8, 2013

Nino Negri, Chiuro, Valtellina

Nino Negri is by far the largest producer in Valtellina with over 25 Nebbiolo (Chiavenassca) wines in their portfolio. First I would like to outline a few things about the region in addition to the previous blog post:
- Located in Italy next to the Switzerland border in the Italian Alps
- home of the most terraced vineyard area in all of Italy
- the vineyards are all south facing taking in the sun all day
- close to 100% Nebbiolo/Chiavenassce
- and for those of you that don't know, the region famous for Nebbiolo comes from Barolo

An now a few things about Nino Negri:
- the winery is located in the small village of Chiuro
- the winemaker Claudio, has been with the company for six years and was previously in Borolo
-  founded in 1897 by Nino Negri and is now owned by GIV (Gruppo Italiano Vini)
- they have vineyards in Sassella, Grumello, Inferno and a Cru area of Valgella called Fracia, which are all DOCG zones
- owners of 31ha of vineyards and also purchase grapes from local growers
- all grapes are harvested by hand around early October
- Nino Negri uses helicopters to quickly take harvested grapes from the vineyard to the winery
- all wines (with the exception of 2) are stainless steel fermented, pressed and spend another one or two months in stainless steel before going to the barrel for aging, which is typically for one year
- they make the reputable Sfurzat wine called "5Stelle", which is only made in the best years and is known as the best Sfurzat in the region. Once these grapes are harvested they are kept in huts in their respective vineyard to be air dried for 110 days (called appassimento). They are kept in small bins and benefit from the afternoon breezes of Lake Como that comes in through the open walls of the huts. This gives a concentration to the grapes making the wine sweet yet dry at the same time. Then the grapes go to new french oak for 16 months for fermentation and aging.

Sadly, I have not come across any Valtellina wine in Canada, however Nino Negri has a strong presence in the USA. I will be seeking it out my next time down in Florida when I visit my Dad!

Below are photos of the bottles from my tasting as well as the winery and the different barrel formats they use.

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