The grapes to produce the Pinot Grigio Veneto IGT “Terrapieno” Alpha Zeta were hand harvested, destemmed, crushed and chilled at 10°C on the way to the press to minimise the extraction of skin phenolics. The juice was chilled immediately and naturally settled. Fermentation took place in 1200HL stainless-steel tanks at temperatures of 12°-14°C to retain fruit flavours. The cool and gentle handling ensured that there was no need for harsh fining, preserving the wine’s delicate aromas.
The 9 hectares Terrapieno vineyard is situated at 100-400 meters above sea level in the Valpantena Valley in eastern Valpolicella. The sites are slightly cooler so the grapes ripen later imparting more precise and elegant flavours in the wines. The soil is poor and well-drained, made of granite and decomposed volcanic rock. The vines are 20-30 years old on average and are trained using both the traditional Pergola Veronese and Guyot system.
Alpha Zeta was started in 1999 when Liberty Wines set out to produce a range of modern, fruit-driven wines from the hills outside Verona. Working with leading New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson, our aim was to work with growers (rather than buy bulk wine, which is standard among most wines from Verona at this price) to obtain ripe grapes (by reducing yields and picking later) and then, using Matt’s expertise, preserve these flavours in the finished wines. The result is a realisation of the potential inherent in Veronese viniculture.