Vallarom, Trentino

Vallarom occupies a special place in Trentino, at a narrowing of the valley in the southern part of the Vallagarina, and north of Lake Garda.  Its origins are in the 15th century and is noted as one of six masi built to alert the imposing castle of Sabbionara of an advancing enemy.  The property was bought and restored by Ezio Scienza and his wife, and subsequently by their children, and a vineyard was planted.  The soils are predominantly limestone with plenty of slope wash forming free draining alluvial cones tucked right up against the mountain. These soils, and the protected position make this one of the few sites in Trentino suited to cabernet sauvignon, as evidenced by Vallarom's neighbour, the iconic San Leonardo.

When grandson Filippo Scienza, and his wife Barbara, took over in 1998 their passion for ecology lead them to convert the estate to organic viticulture. Over the years they abandoned pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, use of enzymes and cultured yeasts, and began generating their own energy from solar power.  While they use small amounts of sulphur during bottling, they are passionate about making wines as natural as possible on land that is ecologically sustainable.

The range encompasses sparkling, white and red wines.  The Metodo Familiare is a cloudy ancestral method fizz from a typically eclectic Trentino blend of grapes, while V.O is a very fine disgorged blanc de blancs.  Trente'Tre is a three way blend of nosiola, yellow muscat and verdalbara that celebrates the indigenous white varieties of the region. Foglia Frastagliata, more conveniently named Ennatio, is the rarest grape of the Vallagarina with only 2 hectares of very old ungrafted vines remaining.  The only other example is the Perciso made collectively by the I Dolomitici group.  It is peppery, wild and and well worth discovering. Fuflus is the top red composed of both cabernets, merlot and syrah and benefits from the additional bottle age.

Trente'Tre 2018 £12.24
Chardonnay 2018 £16.01
Marzemino 2018 £12.58
Pinot Nero 2018 £18.64
Vadum Caesaris Fuflus 2015 £17.61