Rossese di Dolceacqua Superiore “Barbadirame” Maixei is cultivated in the most suitable areas of the Nervia and Valbone valleys on a mainly clay-sandy soil rich in the skeleton, with little limestone and pH between the sub-alkaline and the acid. The grapes are given by the members in the hours immediately following the manual harvest and are softly pressed on arrival in the cellar where they are carefully selected. Fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature (30 ° C) in stainless steel tanks and is carried out with selected yeasts. During the maceration (6-8 days), longer than the classic version, the must-wine is followed by chemical and organoleptic analysis and on the fermenting mass are carried out pumping over and delestage which allow optimizing the extraction of color and body. Malolactic fermentation and aging take place in second passage barriques chosen specifically by the winemaker at prestigious companies. Rossese di Dolceacqua Superiore “Barbadirame” Maixei is bottled only when it is deemed to be ready and is put on the market only on the first November following the harvest.
The production areas of Maixei wine are distributed along the Val Nervia and the Valle Crosia, in the province of Imperia, in the western Liguria. Liguria viticulture and oenology are activities carried out mostly by those who own small plots of land, often divided between them due to the confirmation of the territory. The vineyards are located on a Piedmont territory ranging from 300 to 600 m above sea level, on slopes supported by dry stone walls, called in the dialect “maixei”.
Each vineyard has different characteristics from the neighbour, depending on various factors such as the nature of the terrain or exposure to the sun. The vines are grown mainly in the sapling, so that the bunches are in the shade and protected from the sun during the hottest hours of the day.
What makes Maixei wines unique is the choice of vinifying in purity, only with Rossese di Dolceacqua grapes for reds, or Vermentino grapes for white wines. As in the past, the interventions carried out by the farmers on vines are exclusively manual, also due to the steep areas in which they grow. The must transformation processes are minimal and essential to guarantee the genuineness and quality of the product. The must naturally decanted thanks to temperature control, begins the fermentation and after a period of ageing in steel, it is ready in the spring to give its personal bouquet.
The first signs on the Rossese date back to the ancient Greeks and perhaps even earlier to the Etruscans. More recent news show how Andrea Doria elected Rossese as a festive wine for his fleet; even Napoleon Bonaparte had the pleasure of tasting it, a guest of the Marchesa Doria, at the end of the eighteenth century. These documents show how the Rossese has deep roots in the Ligurian tradition and how today’s producers have managed to blend the taste and the scent of the Rossese grapes with the knowledge of past generations.