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Ticino, Terraferma, Christian Zündel - 2021

Above all, Terraferma is an elegant Merlot. A bit atypical for the Ticino standards, because the expression of the breeding and the wood is behind the fruit and the terroir. And that’s just as well! The production is very small, only 2000 bottles per year. The nose is intensely fruity, with black berries, violet and creosote. It precedes a juicy and fine palate, which makes it accessible when young, even if it can age perfectly.
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Terraferma is now made from the grapes of a single vineyard 'in Nisciora' in Beride, commune of Croglio, planted in 1981, 400-450m sm, SW exposure, light brown soil on glacial deposits.


The grapes are destemmed but not crushed and fall by gravity into small open vats. This means that the fermentation and maceration are done in whole grains, which is slower, longer and gentler. The wine is aged in Burgundy rooms for 16-18 months, no new wood. No filtration, use of SO2 according to Max Léglise's indications.

Suggestions for accompaniment

Charcuterie • Risotto with saffron • Navarin of lamb • Alpine cheeses.

A graduate in podiatry, Christian Zündel arrived in Ticino at the end of the 1970s. After a diversion into agriculture, he planted his first vineyard, "nuciola", in partnership with Adriano Kaufmann and acquired Orizzonte, probably the oldest Merlot vineyard in the region, since it was planted in 1905 by Giovanni Rossi, who was one of the first to introduce Merlot to Tessin. Located around Beride in the Malcantone, a beautiful region with 26 preserved villages, bordered on its eastern side by Lake Lugano and on its north-western side by Monte Lema, which offers a panoramic view of the entire region as far as the Po plain, the vines of this small estate (4.2 ha) are located on brown gneiss that has been very eroded and allows the root system to take root, as well as on moraine deposits. Because of the risk of erosion, these are grassed - grass management being a fundamental issue for Christian Zündel. The rainfall here is significant; it can vary from 1000 to 3000 mm per year. This does not discourage Christian Zündel, who has turned to biodynamics and biodiversity: the new vines are replanted with trees (mulberry tree, dogwood, field maple, etc.)

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