The Wine: Il Roccolo di Monticelli Cinciallegra 2022
Il Roccolo di Monticelli Cinciallegra is a sparkling wine made from mostly Garganega grapes grown in Valpolicella, Verona, Northern Italy. Straw yellow appearance with hints of bread crust with fruity and citrus notes on the nose. Slightly fizzy and refreshing with bright acidity.
The Winery: Il Roccolo di Monticelli
Located in the hills of Vallata di Mezzane, near Verona, in Veneto, Silvia has taken over her family’s abandoned vineyards and revived them to produce the natural wines as was done in the past without any additives or invasive farming methods. After studying agricultural science this became her passion, tending to the vineyards planted in the 1960s and 1970s to Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave, doing everything from vineyard to cellar in order to know intimately the entire process.
The Garganega and Trebbiano were planted in 1970 in mixed soils with predominant limestone deposits, while the Corvina as planted more recently in 2017. Silvia works tenaciously to produce the best that the land will give them each year, harvesting only by hand so as not to harm the vines and eschewing any treatments or fertilizers, only minimal amounts of copper and sulfur to protect the vines when needed.
They allow the land to speak to them and be reflected in the wine, allowing nature to take its course in order to preserve the natural biodiversity of the area which is of utmost importance: cultivating olive trees, bee colonies, allowing local vegetation to grow between the vines, nurture the soils and attract local flora to create a long-lasting and healthy environment.
In the cellar, Silvia uses extended maceration time and leaves her wines unfined and unfiltered, just as her ancestors would have done.
The Region: Veneto
Veneto is one of the most important wine regions of Italy, located in the North-Eastern corner of the Italian peninsula. It borders with Trentino-Alto Adige (north), Friuli-Venezia Giulia (north-east), Emilia-Romagna (south), and Lombardy (west).
The capital of Veneto is Venice, which is also its most populous city, followed by Verona, Padua, Vicenza, Treviso, and Rovigo. The east coast of Lake Garda, the biggest Italian lake, is part of Veneto and so is the tract of Alpine foothills called Venetian Prealps.
Veneto is the leading Italian region for the quantity of wine produced – even though wine-producing regions such as Piedmont, Tuscany, Lombardy, Puglia, and Sicily all have bigger territories.
Some of its most famous wines are Amarone della Valpolicella, Valpolicella, Soave, and of course Prosecco. Other less known but equally delicious wines are Recioto della Valpolicella, Recioto di Gambellara, Raboso del Piave, and Bardolino.
Veneto’s main characteristic is perhaps the great variety of wine types produced, obtained mostly from indigenous grape varietals – Corvina, Glera, and Garganega being the most common.
This is due as much to its specific geography and climate as it is to rather peculiar winemaking techniques such as the grape drying technique employed to make Amarone della Valpolicella, Veneto’s most famous red wine.