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Vigna Rocchetta | Move to Italy

A Friend of Wine is a Friend of Mine

A big part of our Italian dream has been to produce wine. Vines as far as the eye can see in front of our home. Luscious, green and picturesque in rolling hills. This is the view that we will be creating when we begin to re-plant our vineyard.

Our almost 5 hectares of land, consists of hazelnuts, woodlands and a former vineyard. Our initial plan is to re-plant a hectare of vineyards, which will begin to grow and encompass a wonderful selection of grapes that will then be placed into the hands of esteemed wine maker Ignazio Giovine from l'Armangia.

When it comes down to the choice of grape, we have been blessed with the opportunity of a clean slate. The previous owner of our stunning property stripped the soil bare and we see this as a fantastic challenge to build, structure and grow exactly the vines that we want and believe are best matched to us. There is no better feeling than nurturing something that is truly yours and I cannot wait to see the transition from grape to glass.

Ignazio has recommended 3 wonderful varieties of grape to best suit our vineyard and of course our location. The Nebbiolo, red wine grape, native to our region of Piedmont and perfect for the highest quality of vintages. The Cortese, a white wine grape, also a native to the region and produces a fantastic medium bodied white wine that pairs exquisitely with fish, or with the lounge chair soaking up the sun. Finally, the ever popular and somewhat challenging to cultivate: Pinot Nero or Pinot Noir, a variety known worldwide for its delightful light coloured and medium bodied wines or as a primary variety in the finest sparkling wines and champagnes. The soil structure for this variety needs to be perfect in order for cultivation of this grape to be successful, which is where our oenologist’s very particular set of skills come in! I am sure you will understand the enthusiasm we have within us to begin planting these wonderful grapes. We have such a passion, not just for the region we have chosen to build our life and future in, but for fine wine and fine food that Piedmont is known for.

Starting from scratch may sound easy but the are a lot of prerequisites to ensuring the land is suitable for our chosen vines. Just the smallest difference in soil acidity could completely change the taste of the future wine. We will be making great effort to move the soil to the right areas to create an amphitheater and the most hospitable environment for planting. Then once the soil has had a chance to settle we shall begin planting our new vines at the end of the year. Though we intend to take on a large amount of the work ourselves we will be doing so under the guidance of experienced oenologists to ensure that all of our hard work reaches the correct standard and optimum environment for successful harvests in the future.

Then comes the process that that will reward all our hard work. It is time for us to hand over the reigns of our crop to Mr Ignazio Giovine our head wine maker and owner of L’Armangia Winery, whose ancestry in winemaking can be traced back to the mid 1700s. Having spent many years completing his training in oenology, in 1988 Ignazio established his own brand-new vineyard using his hard-earned expertise and channelling the ancient expertise of his bloodline. Since then L’Armangia has produced a number of award winning wines – most notably for their Barbera d'Asti – a testament to his talent and love for his craft and has expanded to managing 10 Hectares of vineyards.

You won’t find Ignazio using harmful chemicals or pesticides, instead his farm is authentic and still utilises ancient farming practices and rituals which his ancestors used to farm the area. Biodiversity is key. Everything in the ground contributes to the subtleties of flavour which gives each variation of wine its own unique qualities and contributes to L’Armangia’s growing reputation. The vineyard produces 14 different wines ranging from ripe reds to bubbly crisp sparkling wine and even a powerful Grappa. L’Armangia’s wines are impressive - The deep garnet, cherry tinged Barbera d'Asti docg Superiore Nizza Titon has a charming nose of strawberries, vanilla, violets and an expensive smoky mineral taste which leaves a pleasing acidity on the palate. Tasty and full bodied it pairs well with grilled meats, cheese and charcuterie – what more could you ask for?!

People travel far for L’Armangia’s Lorenzo Maria Sole Metodo Classico – a fine bubbled light sparkling wine with a taste which evokes childhood memories of orchards giving a hint of apples, white flowers and crusty bread which linger on the palate. If you favour a sweeter wine you can’t go far wrong with L’Armangia’s Moscato D'asti docg. An ancient grape widely used since Roman times this deliciously honey hued Moscato is rich and creamy and tastes of Mediterranean summer with sweet orange blossom, pineapple, moss and sage featuring in its elaborate bouquet.

To Ignazio winemaking is more than simply a passion, born by a desire to create excellent wine. His vines are his children and his vocation is viticulture. This drive and dedication to his vineyard is the reason we have chosen him to oversee and manage the success of our own step into winemaking. Over the summer months we will begin our work with our new vineyard and look forward to posting more updates on the challenges and successes of this next branch of our journey. Our plans are really beginning to take shape and our excitement is continuing to grow. I look forward to posting the next updates so, if you haven’t already, sign up to our newsletter for all of our latest updates and adventures.

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