We like obstinate winemakers who have no intention of pandering to the lowest common denominator tastes and Valpanera couldn’t be much more single-minded – they make Refosco and 42 of their 55 hectares are planted with it.
Giovanni del Vecchio’s father, Giampietro, bought Valpanera in 1972 and, obviously not a man in a hurry, built the winery in 1997.
The intervening years allowed him time to study and re-plant the vineyards.
A system of ‘guyot’ trained vines, at a density of 4,000 – 6,000 per hectare was settled on and they are farmed to a minimum intervention ethic.
This means that treatments are applied only when needed, by the farm’s own workers and mostly by hand.
The soils are an alluvial mix of clays and sands over limestone and the cooling breezes of the Gulf of Trieste are an important influence on the quality of their wines.
Giovanni runs Valpanera with his winemaker, Lucca Marcolini.
They are a hard-working pair who strive to improve the wines at every turn.
The winery is exceptionally well equipped, with some interesting custom-made equipment to get the best from Refosco’s dark and thin skins.
These wines compete with the best of those from the more fashionable communes of Collio and Colli Orientali and continue to offer excellent value.