Mattia Franzina’s tiny cantina is tucked away in the village of Buglio-in-Monte which, approaching from il lago di Como (the west), is one of the first settlements on the left as you come into the Valtellina. The family have been farming there for over fifty years, originally livestock & selling grapes, before selling the ‘bué’ & focusing on the fruit. Indeed their 0.8ha includes more than 100 year old plants, mostly Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo), but also Rossola, a paler, more productive, higher acid, & Pignola native varietal; plus some Merlina dotted around the terraces, which is an ancient varietal. Mattia’s a talented agronomist, graduating in 2009, & when not tending his own vines, consults for many for the small producers of the Valtellina.
The soil on these first slopes of the Valtellina is composed of schistous rock terraces & ‘giss’, a compact morainic soil. The terraces are at 350m asl, facing SSW, & the influence of the lake, 25km away, is felt by the gentle breeze that constantly fans the vines.
In 2014 his family took the step of building a new cantina in the village, & celebrated the vintage with 1500 bts of Rosso di Valtellina! Their first Valtellina Superiore, from the terraces above the village, came in 2015, again producing 1500 bts.
Vinification is traditional: the Rosso comes from declassified Valtellina Superiore fruit from three Buglio vineyards, fermented in stainless-steel, with 20% of the wine ageing briefly in tonneaux. The Valtellina Superiore invece is aged for 12 months in a single 10HL Veneta Botte bought in 2014. Total sulphur at bottling is circa 40mg/litro.
Lying adjacent to his vines, but way up above is perched Valtellina’s smallest vineyard: Maroggia, all 25ha of it. His dream is to rent the top plot on this knoll, & to produce the region’s first Valtellina Superiore Maroggia!
Rosso di Valtellina