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Info about Italian Wine Guide
Regions: 20 Zones: 172 Types of wine: 1283 Words in dictionary: 145
Wine for Cheese?

We've found 118 wine(s) in our Italian Wine Guide which are good for Cheese.

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Region: Lombardia


”A valley surrounded by high and terrible mountains, but they make really powerful wines." Thus was the short and comprehensive summary provided by the Italian scientist and multi-artist, Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519), of the Valtellina valley in his famous, more than 1100-page long sketch collection, "Codice Atlantico".

And he was right. Valtellina lies a little over 60 miles northeast of Milan in the Sondrio province, and is a large, green and fertile valley with countless monuments and (as da Vinci indicated) dominated by mountains. The latter are particularly appreciated by the residents, who earn a considerable fortune when snow covers the slopes.

We find the vineyards on the mountain slopes that run down to and along the Adda River, and they yield a series of red wines that are counted amongst Lombardy’s most prestigious, and after more than five centuries, they confirm Leonardo da Vinci’s concise description as being quite accurate.

The Valtellina valley is divided into two wine zones, Valtellina Rosso DOC and Valtellina Superiore DOCG. The mountain wines from here have been praised since Roman times, but their history is still a bit unclear. The valley’s first grapes were maybe planted by people from Liguria, who had experience with building steep, terrace-formed vineyards. Other experts contend that it was the Etruscans who started wine cultivation here.

In many ways, Valtellina’s can be compared with the ones from its neighbor to the west, the mountain region, Valle d'Aosta, which is practically dominated by one grape variety, Nebbiolo. In Valtellina, the grape is called Chiavennasca, but where that name comes from is still not known. Some believe the name originates from the nearby city of Chiavenna, while others put their money on the origin coming from a local expression, ”ciù vinasca”, which means something along the lines of "extremely vinous", and thus would refer to one of the Nebbiolo grape’s strengths.

The Valtellina zone is only about 25 miles long and the cultivation areas lie from 1300 to 3300 feet above sea level, which makes wine cultivation on the nearly vertical fields something of a challenge. The fields follow the sunny side, the southern side of the mountains, along the Adda River’s flow from Montagnano close to the Como Lake in the west to Tirano in the east. Thus the zone is quite close to the Swiss border.

In Valtellina, it’s all about red wine, and the frontrunner is Valtellina Superiore DOCG, which has an additional five approved DOCG sub-areas, which, going from west to east, are: Maroggia, Sassella, Grumello, Inferno and Valgella. These sub-areas will always be on the label. Finally, we find Sforzato (Sfursàt) di Valtellina and Rosso di Valtellina DOC.

Much of Valtellina’s wine production is controlled by foreign investors, primarily from Switzerland, and the wine can be taken duty-free over the border between the two countries.

Read more about the wines from Valtellina by clicking i the top menu in the right side.