Fascinated by the history and the terrifying slopes of the local vineyard, friends Davide Fasolini and Pierpaolo Di Franco fell in love with the Valtellina vineyard in the early 2000s. Aware of its fragility and the decline that threatened it, they decided to invest in the cause by creating their own estate. So, after studying oenology in Milan, they rented a few hectares of vineyards and set off. They settled in Ponte in Valtellina, near the town of Sondrio, in 2003. 2004 was their first vintage. Nearly fifteen years later, they can claim to be stylistic "revolutionaries" with an approach that has since blossomed and inspired many others. First of all, the two friends carry out a precise division that considers and treats each parcel (there are 18 of them!) as a separate entity. The vines are grown on historic terraces facing south, at altitudes varying from 400 to 600 metres. More than the exposure and the soils, they believe that they sign the personality of each wine: the aromatic and spontaneous Rosso di Valtellina Olé is produced on the "lowest" terroirs (425-450 m); the flagship of the estate, the Valtellina Superiore, is produced on vines ranging from the lowest to the almost highest (400-550 m): It is an elegant but profound wine, perfectly representative of its DOCG; the sublime Riserva Dossi Salati is produced only in great vintages, on parcels ranging from 530 to 570 metres above sea level: It is the estate's most refined and age-worthy wine; two new parcel selections have also appeared: Grumello Gèss (450-550m) and Inferno Guast (500-525m); and finally the almost unnamed Sforzato di Valtellina, the aptly named Vino Sbagliato ("wrong" wine), is produced on the highest plots (500-600m), where the grapes ripen late and with thick skins, which is ideal for passerillage.
Coming back to the viticulture, all the green work is carried out with great care in order to control the yields and above all to favour the ripening. From the very first years, the duo has been working towards organic farming: in 2008 they started experimenting; in 2011 the first label was certified with Sforzato; from 2016 the whole estate is certified, which, given the steep slopes of the plots, requires a lot of work.
In addition to all this, the estate was one of the first to vinify with indigenous yeasts, to (re) practice long macerations and, above all, to mature its wine in pièces, half-muids and French wooden tuns (and not Slavonia), which gives the wines produced more natural expression, more suppleness in the tannins, more apparent sweetness and therefore less bitterness. Thus were born wines with great ageing potential, but capable of being enjoyed young, in the manner of the great Piedmontese traditionalists who also challenged themselves to learn from the "modernists".
Finally, we should add that the Dirupi duo has always had a sense of teamwork, putting forward their young colleagues who have followed in their footsteps to help them make a name for themselves and above all to sell their wine. As a result, today a whole young generation is emerging, the various parties involved having understood that with several people, one is stronger than alone. Let's pay tribute to them for that.
Valtellina Superiore, Dirupi - 2017