Valcalepio DOC is an appellation in the province of Bergamo, in Lombardy. It includes white wines, read wines, and also a Passito made with Moscato di Scanzo grape.
Viticulture in this area has been ongoing since the Roman Era. Pliny the Elder in fact talks about the wines from Bergamo in his works.
The Consorzio Tutela Valcalepio was founded in 1976 by 22 members. Today, the consortium has 80 members. They have three denominations: Valcalepio DOC, Terre dei Colleoni DOC and the Bergamasco IGT
Valcalepio Rosso DOC is made from Cabernet Sauvignon (25%- 60%) and Merlot (40%-75%).
Valcalepio Rosso Riserva DOC is made from the same blend but the aging requirement is different, 3 years of which at least one in wood.
Valcalepio Bianco DOC is made from Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay (55% to 80%) and Pinot Grigio (20% to 45%).
Valcalepio Moscato Passito is made from the 100% Moscato di Scanzo grapes.
Bergamasca IGT are monovarietal wines made from Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Franconia, Barbera, Moscato Giallo, and Manzoni Bianco.
Types of wines in the Valcalepio DOC Appellation
There are red, white, sparkling and passito wines made in the region. Of the 400 hectares that go into making wines in the Valcalepio area, 70% are used for the Valcalepio Rosso.
In addition to the DOC wines, a line of IGT wines is also made including a traditional method sparkling wine.
Soil and geography
Valcalepio is an area that runs from the Lago d’Iseo to not far from Lago di Como, about 60 kilometers. These are the pre-alps and can be separated into two parts: one with clay and calcareous soils and the other that is driven by schist. The vines grow on hills of 200-800 meters above sea level. The Adda and Oglio Rivers are its borders and in addition to the mountains, the large plain that reaches the city of Cremona is another important element in the geography of the region. There are about 800 hectares of vines and olive trees in the region.
Yields depend on the wine and the style but are usually between 6-10
tons per hectare.
The grapes are harvested and fermented separately. The wine is then blended and then aged in barrels for a few months. It can be sold from November 1 st of the year following the harvest. If aged for three years, at least one in wood, it can be called a Riserva.
Let’s analyze the 4 main wines of the Valcalepio DOC appellation.
Valcalepio Rosso is ruby red in color, aromas of black cherry, bramble, and herbs abound with soft tannins.
The Riserva is a bit more structured wine.
Valcalepio Bianco is a soft and mineral white wine with floral and white fruit notes.
Valcalepio Moscato Passito is a rare red sweet wine with aromas of red fruit, pepper, cinnamon, sage, dried rose.
Food pairing – Buying tips
Valcalepio Rosso is well matched with beef and white meat dishes, roasts, game and cheese. The area around Bergamo is rife with valleys and mountains that make wonderful local cheese such as Taleggio DOP, Grana Padano DOP, and Gorgonzola DOP as well as dishes such as Polenta and Casonsei della Bergamasca.
The wine can be drunk immediately. The vintage wine can be kept for 3-5 years and the Riserva at least 5-10.
Valcalepio Bianco is great as an aperitif with appetizers or with white meats or seafood. Should be drunk within two years.
Valcalepio Moscato Passito DOC made with the Moscato di Scanzo grape. Made with grapes that have dried for at least 21 days. This wine ferments on the skins and then without. This luscious sweet red wine can be paired with blue cheeses or on its own. Should be drunk between 3-20 years.
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If you are in the mood for a good book, you can try:
– The Modern History of Italian Wine by Walter Filipputti
– Hidden Gems of Italy: An Insider’s Secret Formula To Find Top-Class Italian Wines At Value Prices And Taste La Dolce Vita by Tony Margiotta
Additionally, you can discover the other wines from Lombardy.