The Allegrini family estate covers 100 hectares of vineyard in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico area. The family has been growing grapes here for six generations, but the estate in its current form was founded by Giovanni Allegrini. When he passed away in 1983, it passed to his three children, who ran it together until Walter's death in July 2003. Franco now looks after the vineyards and is the winemaker, and Marilisa is director of marketing.
Located at the top of Podere La Grola, Sant'Ambrogio di Valpolicella, 350 metres above sea level, the vineyard comprises 2.65 hectares planted in 1979 with a south-east exposure. The soil is well-drained, calcareous (78.5% chalk) and stony. Soils are marginally alkaline and combine with the active limestone content to reduce the vines' vigour. The vines are double Guyot trained at a density of approximately 4,240 vines per hectare and have an average age of 30 years.
2011 was one of the most promising vintages in recent years, with intensely aromatic wines as a result of the diurnal temperature differences. Conditions during the growing season were excellent, with ideal day and night time temperatures right up to 16th August when a heat wave struck. When the rain fell at the end of the heatwave, the vines recovered some of their vigour and picking began at the beginning of September. The resulting volumes were 10% lower than usual but the wines are ripe.
The grapes were harvested at the end of October, de-stemmed and crushed with maceration lasting 12-15 days with regular, daily pumping over. Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks between 22-31ºC with maloactic fermentation occurring naturally in November. The wine was then racked into new oak barriques where it aged for 20 months, followed by eight months in tank.
Premium viticulture techniques yield grapes with great personality and maturity. After over four years of ageing, the wine is still extraordinarily fresh and crisp with a full spectrum of aromas ranging from fruit to spices and medicinal herbs. Full bodied and luscious, with a long, lingering finish.