|Terraced vineyards in Lombardy|
|Moving a bit too fast to photograph the vineyards en route.|
|Lake Como on a hazy winter's day|
|The regional wine selection at the SandiMarket in Livigno.|
|Beautiful vistas across the alps|
The Nebbiolo grape, from which all red wine in the region is made, is known locally as the Chiavennasca. The area boasts two DOCGs — Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (controlled and guaranteed designation of origin): Valtellina Superiore and Sforzato di Valtellina.
The area’s largest wine producer, Nino Negri, was founded in 1897. Located in a valley exposed to sunlight all day and sheltered from the cold northern winds by the magnificent Retiche Alps, the Nino Negri vineyards produce four types of wine: Grumello, Sassella, Inferno and Valgella, sub-denominations of the Valtellina Superiore.
|Alex at the top of the Carosello lift in Livigno|
We had the pleasure of sampling the Inferno and Sassella vintages before progressing to house wines. As far as I know, we did not sample the Sforzata as we did not know about these wines before coming, shame on us. The Inferno we tasted had a dark red hue and more than a hint of chocolate and a bit of tobacco that was very pleasant. The Sassela Riserva was perhaps a bit more refined with a distinctively fruity tone. There is a good article about this region's wine here.
Of course, the other drink the region is well known for is its grappa, and we happily had our samplings of that as well. Perhaps grappa will be our product of choice in the end.
Valtellina’s most famous winter resorts include Livigno, Bormio, Santa Caterina Valfurva and Madesimo. Madesimo is supposed to have the most beautiful but challenging slope in the region. Perhaps we'll have to visit again just for the view and a taste of the Sforzato.
|Wine and grappa, he'll have one of each please|
|Rainoldi Sassela Riserva, deliciously fruity and smooth|
|Inferno, very interesting with a hint of chocolate|