• Cultural

The Valtellina wine route in Lombardy

A JOURNEY THROUGH THE EXCELLENCE OF THE TERRITORY AND LANDSCAPES

In the upper part of the Lombardy region there is a long and narrow valley, crossed by the river Adda and protected by the two Alpine sides – the Rhaetian Alps to the north, the Orobic Prealps to the south. This is Valtellina, a landscape characterized by beauty and harmony, cradle of some Lombard wines, considered among the best in Italy. Valtellina is a puzzle of unique natural elements. In the foreground there are the Alps, with their own mountain climate; then the breeze coming from Lake Como; finally, an immense heritage of hours of sunshine. All key factors that make the territory perfectly suitable for quality viticulture.

Valtellina is the largest terraced Lombard wine-growing area in Italy, a concentrate of history, knowledge, identity, for unique mountain wines. The Valtellina vineyard is located to the south, perfect location to capture light and energy. The Alps keep the humidity level low, guarantee temperature range especially in the pre-harvest period, transmit character, finesse and aromatic distinctiveness to the wines. The vocation of Valtellina to the cultivation of the vine is also enclosed in the work of terracing.

Nebbiolo finds in Valtellina its territory of choice. A great Italian grape rooted for centuries among the terraces, in a continuous interchange with the rock. Its history and its adaptation make it in effect a native vine of Valtellina, together with Pignola, Rossola and Brugnola. Chiavennasca is the name of Nebbiolo grown in Valtellina, a variety that offers wines of rare finesse, long-lived, simple but complex.

There is a fascinating itinerary that crosses these landscapes shaped by millennia of viticulture: the Valtellina Wine Route. Walking along the Valtellina Wine Route means embarking on a journey to discover vineyards designed on rocky slopes and perched villages that defy gravity where Chiavennasca found its home. The road is also characterized by the presence of 2500 kilometers of dry-stone walls, whose construction art has been included by UNESCO in the Intangible Heritage of Humanity since 2018. Along the route of the road there are four denominations: Alpi Retiche Igt, Rosso di Valtellina Doc, Valtellina Superiore Docg and Sforzato di Valtellina Docg. Valtellina is the ideal destination for wine tourists eager to get to know local producers, discover their traditions and taste their products. The food and wine and nature itinerary winds through breathtaking landscapes, rocky sanctuaries, small mountain villages and remains of ancient castles that dominate the valley. Along its path there are certainly perfect places for a cultural stop: the Masegra Castle in Sondrio, the ancient nucleus of Chiuro, the medieval village of Teglio, the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Loreto in Tresivio and the Palazzo Salis in Tirano, just to name a few. Along the Wine Route you can live the experience of sleeping among the vineyards, immerse yourself in the relaxation of the farmhouses, discover the ancient flavors of the recipes, listen to the stories of those who work the land with passion and taste unique wines. Part of the Road are the wineries that offer hospitality with tastings and guided tours, restaurants that offer typical recipes and local wines, farmhouses surrounded by greenery, hotels overlooking the terraces and historic shops where you can stock up on local products.

The most fun and sustainable way to discover the Valtellina Wine Route is definitely riding an E-Bike. Professional guides accompany visitors on a ride through the vineyards of Nebbiolo delle Alpi and small mountain villages full of charm. The itinerary includes: E-Bike rental for the duration of the activity, helmet rental, initial briefing, and 4-hour excursion accompanied by a professional guide and visit and tasting of three wines in a winery in Valtellina.

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