The grapes to produce Valtellina Superiore DOCG “Inferno” Nino Negri are vinified using traditional red winemaking methods at controlled temperatures. Valtellina Superiore DOCG “Inferno” Nino Negri ages in the cellar for two years, of which at least one is in wooden vessels.
Inferno is the smallest of the four Valtellina Superiore DOCG subzones, with 48 hectares on the slopes of the Rhaetian Alps, along the right bank of the River Adda, in the municipalities of Poggiridenti and Tresivio in the province of Sondrio. Its name is derived from the steep slopes and the high summer temperatures caused by the sun reflecting off the rock. “Bacchus’ Paradise is that red Inferno of embers and flames, with a scent infused with plums and blackberries, which is preferable to Paradise”, Abbot Morelli wrote in his short poem entitled “Dionisos”. Negri started producing Inferno in 1945.
Casa Vinicola Nino Negri, founded in 1897, is headquartered in Chiuro in the old fifteenth-century Castello Quadrio. Casa Vinicola Nino Negri is one of the most renowned wineries in Valtellina and a synonym for Valtellina wines all over the world.
Nino Negri owns 31 hectares of vineyards across the most prestigious of the Valtellina Superiore D.O.C.G. subzones: Inferno, Sassella, Grumello, Fracia, a monopole vineyard located in the Valgella subzone.
Due to the extremely steep hillsides, Nino Negri’s estate is characterised by terracing, a system based on dry stone walls that support the terraced hillside vineyards built thousands of years ago to allow cultivation of the land. The sandy, silty base tends to be dry as it retains very little water and is highly permeable. The shallow soil has an arable surface of between 40-120cm and it is common to see vines take root in the cracks between the rocks.
The steep hillsides provide the perfect environment for Nebbiolo to thrive in. The steep slopes allow optimum exposure to the mountain sun as well as protection from the cold winds, and the wide temperature ranges between day and night encourage the expressive uniqueness of the king of grape varieties, Nebbiolo, locally called the Chiavennasca.
Great commitment is needed at every moment of vine cultivation in Valtellina, a difficult and labour-intensive area to cultivate. For over 100 years, Nino Negri has given this commitment, nurturing the grapes’ potential and literally handcrafting wines of superior quality and character.
All vineyard work, including vineyard management and harvest is done entirely by hand along the terraces supported by a myriad of age-old dry stonewalls, a symbol of this valley. During the harvest the grapes are transported down the mountain by helicopter so as to get them to the winery as quickly as possible.