30 hectares of vineyards in Valtellina.
Initially, the Azienda Agricola Caven Camuna winery owned a vineyard in Caven, in the commune of Teglio at 650 metres above sea level, and it owned 5 hectares of vineyards that were joined together. Over the years, the wine estate has devoted a lot of energy and resources to buy several parcels of vineyards in the various areas of Valtellina Superiore D.O.C.G.: Inferno, Sassella, Grumello and Valgella. Today, the winery has at its disposal a total of 30 hectares of vineyards, considering its own property and rented vineyards, making it the major vine-growing company in Valtellina, in terms of surface area planted to vine at its disposal.
Of the 30 hectares at its disposal, nearly 13 hectares are in the Inferno subzone, the smallest in size in the Valtellina, with 55 hectares registered in the vineyard register. Even in the Valgellasubzone, which must by no means be underrated, the company has invested considerable resources, reconverting more than 8 hectares of vineyard that used the ritocchinovineyard planting system (planted perpendicular to the slopes) to giropoggiovineyard planting (following the contours of the slopes). The latter allows the soil to be partially worked with mechanical equipment, irrigated better and to improve photosynthesis.
Above all Nebbiolo, but not only...
The most widely grown grape variety is Nebbiolo, an extraordinary native variety of the Valtellina, which the locals have always called “Chiavennasca”, grafted in the past onto the Berlandieri x Riparia 420 A rootstock. At the moment, in the new replanting of the vineyards, Nebbiolo rootlings, selected in Valtellina by the Fondazione Fojanini and grafted onto 420 A rootstock, as well as on other rootstocks that are more versatile and resistant to today’s pedoclimatic conditions, for instance 110 R (Berlandieri x Rupestris), are used. Besides the vineyards planted to Nebbiolo, the wine estate also owns a vineyard planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and another vineyard planted to Chardonnay and Incrocio Manzoni 6.0.13.
The company’s flagship vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon in the commune of Teglio at 650 metres above sea level. In 1984, a young Stefano Nera, then a student, had a hunch that Cabernet Sauvignon, although it was not a native variety, would have found the right conditions in the Valtellina and would achieve extraordinary results. At first, two French clones were planted, but in 2006 two Italian clones – R5 on rootstock 110 Richter – were also planted.
Always in the commune of Teglio, in 1998, a one-hectare vineyard was planted to Chardonnay and Incrocio Manzoni 6.0.13 at 500 metres above sea level.
In addition to Nebbiolo grapes, accounting for 95% of the total, 5% of Pignola and Rossola varieties are added to produce our wines. Of these, Rossola, a late-harvesting grape, has a significant role as it allows the production of a light ruby-red, aroma-rich, tangy, slightly tannic, medium-bodied and full-flavoured wine.
Wine is made in the vineyard.
The winery’s aims are now focused on training the staff who work in the vineyard, through special courses on pruning that the agriculturist and oenologist, Stefano Nera, holds in the company offices, but above all in the vineyard. Both winter and spring pruning are the most important cultivation activities, from the very first year of life of the rootling.
The cultivation operations that follow pruning (i.e. tying up, trimming the tops of shoots, removal of sterile canes, leaf removal and thinning), which must be performed in the best possible way, respecting the various phenological growth stages, are extremely important.
Another important aspect to which the company pays painstaking attention is harvesting, when it carefully selects the grapes, ensuring that they are kept in the best possible conditions until their arrival at the winery, using all possible precautions.
In Valtellina, harvesting is usually done in the first part of October and, once the grapes have been vinified, the wine matures for at least two years, of which one in oak casks, as set out by the complex and stringent Regulations on the Production of Valtellina DOCG wine.
5 premium-quality wines.
The wines produced by Azienda Agricola Caven Camuna are therefore Valtellina Superiore D.O.C.G. Sassella, Valtellina Superiore D.O.C.G. Inferno, Valtellina Superiore D.O.C.G. and Sforzato di Valtellina D.O.C.G. (SFURZAT). The latter is obtained by vinifying slightly dried “Nebbiolo Chiavennasca” grapes, which are carefully laid out in small crates that are stored in lofts (fruttai). A wine with an alcohol content of 15° is obtained. Thus, a well-defined production area does not exist, but the healthiest and ripest grapes within the Valtellina wine production area are used. The drying of the grapes causes a concentration of the aromatic compounds, which are distinctive and make Sfurzat such a unique wine.
The wines of the various subzones, although originating from grapes of the same grape variety, are different from an organoleptic point of view thanks to different microclimates, compositions, soil depths and clones of Nebbiolo Chiavennasca that have been planted and which historically vary from one zone to the next.
The numerous awards won during the most important national and international wine competitions testify to the exceptional work performed by the winery.