We first met Marco at the tasting in the Consorzio Valtellina cellar in Sondrio.
Marco Triacca stood in a striped sweater behind his table, smiling and ready to pour his wines and tell you about them. He is Swiss and, in fact, lives in Switzerland, commuting to Valtellina each day to the vineyard and winery.
He is thorough and organized, the workings of his winery timed beautifully like a Swiss watch…
Marco makes 4 wines from just 2 varieties of grapes, all grown on his 3.5 hectares of vines at his estate vineyard in Valgella, producing 20,000 bottles annually. He harvests the grapes for his sparkling Pignola in mid-September, his Sforzato of Nebbiolo harvests at the end of September or beginning of October; his Valtellina Superiore La Mossa harvests mid-October and the Riserva Elisa that harvests mid-November.
Marco says with a laugh, “I have no harvest stress!”
Visting the Vineyard
As you get close to La Perla di Marco Triacca in Valgella, the wall of the Strada del Vino makes a striking image on the slope behind the vineyard. Above the vineyard sits the village of San Gervasio, with the Chiesa San Gervasio Church at the top of the hill. Beyond that, the “Torre di li Beli Miri,” the tower of the ancient castle of Teglio, looks out over the region. This tower is the symbol of Teglio and is all that remains of the medieval castle built on Roman ruins. With up to 60-kilometer views, the tower was important for the valley’s defense for centuries.
Here at the vineyard, the vines are planted in long rows running with the curve of the mountain. You see the “muretti,” the dry-stone walls that shore up the soil of each terrace on the steep hillside. A little further up on the hillside, just below the Strada, you see vines oriented perpendicular to the mountain. This is where the vineyards of Sandro Fay begin.
Marco meets us as we arrive and takes us into the vineyard east of the tasting room. Their 3.5 hectares of vineyards sit at approximately 400 meters above sea level. This, of course, varies by row as the vineyards are steep. Unlike most estate vineyards in Valtellina, they are contiguous. All together in one spot, this makes managing the vineyard much easier for Marco. Ease and efficiency in all things allow Marco to focus on winemaking.