Alfio Mozzi grew up in the vineyards, but like so many children of parents and grandparents who made wine, he first plied his trade elsewhere. He spent 11 years as a blacksmith before he was called back to the vineyards in the mid-1990s. He spent over a decade putting together fragmented parcels in Valtellina and growing grapes that he sold to one of the largest and most ubiquitous producers in Valtellina, Nino Negri. For context Nino Negri owns or has access to nearly 200 hectares of vineyards. Alfio owns considerably less. That said, for nearly half a decade, Alfio has realized on his dream and has been making his own wine in the glorious and unique east/west Valtellina valley, carved over the years by the Adda River. Click here to read more about the valley.
Alfio’s home and cellars are located in the town of Castionne Adevenno on the southwest end of the Sassella sub-region. His vineyards are scattered about, as is common in Valtellina, and are at elevations anywhere between 350 – 600 meters above sea level. Each steeply pitched and many are terraced in order to be workable. The steep slopes and loose soils make it challenging enough to navigate these vineyards, but the prickly pear also finds the northern side of this east/west valley a suitable growing environment. One more thing to negotiate as a winemaker in Valtellina. In the case of Alfio Mozzi that added challenge is given prime real estate on his wine’s front labels.
I guess Alfio Mozzi expects to grow flowers in this “desert.” Making wines that have that mountain elegance about them. Craveable and long lasting. Truly artisan work.
In the words of David Schildknecht from Vinous, “Austria’s 2013 Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners display exceptionally bright acidity, clear flavor definition and uncanny complexity.” 2013 has given us the stunning combination of healthy, ripe grapes that remain light on their feet as the alcohol levels stayed in check, married with focused, tense acidity.
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