The Valtellina region, located at the base of the pre-Alps on Italy’s border with Switzerland, is an extremely challenging terroir. A narrow, 25 mile-long amphitheater of terraced vineyards lines the north bank of the Adda River, forming a deep gorge amid mountainous terrain. This is Italy’s largest terraced area of viticulture: an impressive 1,550 miles of dry walls that support the terraces are distributed over the 25-mile strip. Working this land is backbreaking work. Steep, nearly vertical vineyards from 2,400 to 3,000 feet elevation rule out the use of any mechanical equipment.
Travel to the vineyards of Nino Negri as we visit with winemakers Casimiro Maule and Claudio Alongi during the 2015 harvest.