VinePair: Helicopter Harvesting in the Valtelline

A rather interesting article, if fairly basic, about Nebbiolo in the Valtelline:
Helicopters/Valtelline by StacySlinkard (who she?)
and how NinoNegri is using helicopters to facilitate their grape harvest in those awesomely rugged vnyds. The first photo gives a sense of the heroic viticulture that takes place there. When I walked those vnyds of Balgera, I was mightly impressed. One stumble and you could wind up in the village hundreds of feet below.
The article mentions the Bitto cheese (a DOP cheese) grown in the Valtelline way up in the BittoVlly. It’s one my favorite Italian cheeses, as good if not better than Parmigiano for a grating cheese. You almost never find it in this country, alas. A great source in the area is Bottega Fratelli Ciapponi, in Morbegno, recommended to me by EmilioCastelli. They have wheels 10-15 yrs old, aging away in their cellar. Plus it’s an outstanding source of Valtelline wines.
She seems to be a big fan of the NinoNegri wines. They also own the (once reknowned) Pellizzatti label. I find those wines rather quotidian expressions of Valtelline Nebbiolo. I find Ar.Pe.Pe, Conti Sertoli Salis, Sandro Fay, Balgera and Triacca, maybe Rainoldi, much more interesting producers.
Anyway, an interesting article that brings back fond memories of my week in the area.

Nino Negri Quadrio is a perennial favorite of mine from the area. Not a complicated wine, but great year on year and a superb QPR. Pickens are slim from this region in the old bottle shop aside from the occasional ArPePE and Nino Negri.

ON a related note, i’ve been finding random bottlings from LA Kiuva and others from the Valle d’Aosta pop up. Had 2 bottles from Arnad-Montjovet plus and older one from a 2000 Balgera (Ca Fracia) in NYC last month. Then found another Kiuva in a local shop. When it rains, it pours. :stuck_out_tongue:

Could use that same lift attachment to pick up your allocation of Screaming Eagle.

Had the 1957 Inferno from Negri, a couple of months back. Wasn’t too shabby :slight_smile:

I didn’t know the helicopter thing, but am not surprised after seeing for myself these vineyards last year. Prior to visiting, I thought Northern Rhone vineyards were steep. The ones at Valtelline are much steeper.

:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: