On a recent visit to Italy, we visited Luigi Valori’s vineyard in Abruzzo as renovations are ongoing. Luigi is one of those wine producers who lights up a room with his beaming smile and energetic presence, and although its been a few years since he visited Ireland, people still say ‘Ahh Luigi, how is he?’ with a smile in their voice.
Luigi has had many careers over the years (including a spell as a Serie A soccer player!), but there is no doubt that he has found a true vocation in wine production in the heart of Colline Teramane in Abruzzo, with a focus on quality and indigenous grape varieties.
Valori Wines are organically certified since 2013, at the end of a five year conversion process, heavy on paperwork, time and money.
More recently, Luigi has updated his wine labels (it took us a while to get used to the new ones to be honest!) and now he is upgrading his production facilities with a splendid new roof…
Valori wines are produced only from grapes grown on his own property, with 6 different wines produced, two white, one rose and three reds. The whites are made from 100% Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, which is a far cry from the insipid Trebbiano wines available in most winebars! Its got citrus, ripe white peach and tropical fruit with just enough minerality to balance the fruits. His second white is made from the revived grape variety Abruzzo Pecorino, again with lively minerality, more stone fruits on the palate. Cerasuolo is the Rose in the range, fresh yet rich wine made from Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes, perfect as a summer aperitivo or as an alternative to red wine in warm weather.
Red wines are mainly produced from Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, which Luigi produces from low-yield vines, thus concentrating the flavours, the current vintage is smooth and full bodied with red fruit flavours and also deeper blackberry notes. The Vigna Sant’Angelo is a reserva, made with single vineyard Montepulciano grapes, with lots of plum and dark berry fruit flavours with a long long finish – truly a Vino da Meditazione (a wine for meditation). The last of Luigi’s wine range is a dark and inky Merlot called Inkostro (only available by pre-order and a long waiting time!).
And the quote “Chiamami quando piove” – translates into ‘Only call me when it Rains’ which shows the deep link between Luigi, nature and wine, and was the frequent refrain from Luigi when his graphic designer was trying to get Luigi to meet with him to finalise the ideas for the new labels… finally he came up with the idea of the umbrellas to signify that rain is also part of the natural cycle with sunshine to produce wine!
The picture shows Luigi with Colm on the recent visit to Valori Cellars in Sant’Omero Teramo Province, Abruzzo.
The care that is taken with the grapes includes ‘green harvesting’ which involves stripping out grapes and leaves to allow the grapes that remain ripen to full maturity in optimum sunny conditions. Check out the video of Luigi demonstrating this technique on our recent visit… https://www.facebook.com/Honest2GoodnessWine/videos/305635880207963/