Terre di Pietra Valpolicella Superiore Vigna del Peste 2015
50% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella, 10% Molinara. Terre di Pietra is a relatively recent winery, based in the eastern section of the Valpolicella region. It started off in 2005 when a talented, passionate woman, Laura Albertini, just 25 years old, was given a bit of garage space at her father-in-law’s house in which she could make wine. Her own father had pushed her into a degree in chartered accounting and wanted her to lead a ‘conventional’ life. She, however, had her own mind. It took 5 years to convince her father but finally, in 2010, construction started on a fully equipped winery. The first vintage at this new magnificent winery in Marcellise was in 2011. She was widely touted as one of Valpolicella’s upcoming winemakers to watch. Their vineyards, some 4 hectares, are located in 5 small hillside plots ranging from 200 to 600 meters above sea level. The historic area is characterized by very dark soils rich in sedimentary stones, hence the name Terre di Pietra (Stone soils). In the Marcellise area, the land is rich in white limestone. Both soils are very poor and this results in low yields and wines with rich tannins and good acidity. Right from the start, they believed in clean and environmentally friendly agriculture. In 2011 they decided to take a step further and started their first experiments in biodynamic farming. It has been an ongoing challenge, full of trials but also satisfaction. All winery operations are still done by hand. From 2011 they also started to abandon all of the modern enology’s interventions, to reach completely natural wines. The 2015 Vigna del Peste is from vines planted in 1971 and was fermented in concrete tanks with wild yeasts and aged for 18 months in concrete and another 18 months in bottle before being released. This is on the lighter end for Valpolicella yet it is full of sour cherries, plum, a bunch of blue and black fruit, with a hint of black pepper on the finish. The mouthfeel is round, the body is superb, and the balance is perfect. This is a wine that shows off its stone soils in full clarity. Unfortunately, this is one of the last vintages made by Laura due to her untimely death in 2017. The journey started with Laura continues courageously and stubbornly by her husband Cristiano, helped by her two daughters, Anna and Alice, and we are sure Terre di Pietra will continue to produce world-class wines that will always have the spirit of Laura in them.