Balgera is a boutique winery located in Chiuro, one of the wine growing villages of Valtellina area, in the region of Lombardy. The winery has a wine history dated back to 1885. Today Paolo Balgera is the 4th generation wine maker. The winery offers classic old world styled highly fragrant Valtellina wines. These wines are made from the Chiavennasca variety, also known as Nebbiolo in Piedmont region.
Valtellina is situated in the Rhaetian Alps, about 60 miles north-east of Milan and is the quintessential mountain wine region. The valley runs almost perfectly east-west, following the course of the Adda River which has scored its path through the hard granite here over many millennia.
This is one of Italy's most dramatic wine landscapes, matching the mountainous scenery of Alto Adige and the sheer cliff faces of Cinque Terre and the Costa d'Amalfi. Here, near Italy's border with Switzerland, peaks such as the 12,066ft (3678m) Monte Disgrazia cast their long shadows over the vineyards below. If grapes are to ripen fully here, they must be planted on sunny south-facing slopes, ideally with a westerly aspect.
Most Valtellina vineyards sit at altitudes between 750ft (230m) and 2500ft (765m), on perilously steep slopes such as those over the Alps in Valais. This makes grape harvesting a time-consuming and costly task, as the incline of many vineyards is so pronounced that mechanized harvesting is impossible. Carrying out viticultural labour by hand accounts for roughly 1400 man hours per hectare per year.
After choosing the best batches of grapes, a soft pressing of the grapes is carried out with a subsequent maceration on the skins for 12-14 days. 2 years in large oak barrels and then 2 years in small barrels. Minimum 12 months of bottle aging.
Balgera Valtellina Superiore Sassella is an extraordinary wine that is still remarkably fresh in spite of it's long bottle ageing. It has a beautifully expressive nose that has aromas of roses, wild strawberries and bramble fruits. Medium-bodied but with a great depth of flavour showing cherries, raspberries and strawberries with hints of hazlenut. These combine with fresh acidity making it a wine that is very useful with food. It has moderate tannins and a very fine structure completely different from Barolo or Barbaresco.