Class of 1970, Alessio Magi wasn’t actually born in the Valtellina but in Milano, moving to Lombardia with his parents at the age of ten; his madre being Swiss. Initially he worked for Coldiretti until 2000, then joined the Fondazione Fojanini where he helped small vignaioli get off the ground, both in the vigna & cantina, at a time when small artisan producers were just emerging in the valley. In 2004 he headed off to New Zealand, working for a large Marlborough producer for a couple of years, before moving back to the northern hemisphere, to the Bordeaux satellite of Castillon de la Bataille. Between 2008 & 2010 he worked closer to home, at a local Swiss producer of biodynamic wine. In 2010 he took the step of building a new cantina in Teglio, in the heart of the Valgella cru/zone, & began hunting round for some vines to ‘rent’, which he did without having to pay a penny – la sistema ‘accommodato‘! His first vintage of Valtellina Superiore was in 2011, all 2.6k bts.
He looks after c. 1.5ha of vines in the Valgella zone, located in two complementary plots: one facing South in the frazione of Ravoledo at c.400m as, & the other just round the corner/ridge facing East above in the fraz. of Spina at 550m asl. The vineyards are up to 90 years in age, although plants are replaced as they die, so some are as new as three years old. They are comprised of Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo), as well as some 10% of Pignola & Rossola, both of which are prized for their good acidity. Alessio likens the profile of the Valgella vineyard to that of Grumello, insofar that there’s quite good depth of soil on the steep terraces. Situated furthest from the warming influence of lago di Lecco/Como, the cru/zone of Valgella sits at the eastern, coolest end of the Valtellina; Valgella derives from the latin ‘vallicellum’ or small valley, probably due to the tapering of the valley.
In his cave under the family agriturismo, hewn out of the rock, Alessio makes classic Valtellina Superiore: following a mid to late October harvest, spontaneous fermentations & macerations of up to a month in stainless steel along with MLF idealmente, & then affinamento for c.24 mths in 10HL slavonian oak botte bought in 2011 & 2018.
Vintage 2019 was bottled during the first week of November 2022: 13.65% abv, 5.46 g/L Total Acidity, 0.74 g/L Volatile Acidity, 0.6 RS, 3.49 pH, 26mg/L Total Sulphur.
Valtellina Superiore Valgella