An old sign for Pelizzatti. The hillside is almost vertical!

Pelizzatti and other Valtellina

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In the mid 1970’s the Pelizzatti Perego family had… some kind of falling-out. The result was that the property was divided, and a large part was sold. Arturo Pelizzatti Perego, who was able to retain some of the vineyards, then founded a new winery in 1984 called Ar.Pe.Pe., which his kids now run. In 2006 I visited there for the first time; Valtellina wines have greatly improved since then, but in my opinion Ar.Pe.Pe. remains the best contemporary winery in the region by a wide margin. We don’t have any Ar.Pe.Pe. for sale (primarily because their vineyards are far from organic) – what I had in mind was to set the context for the old vintage Pelizzatti wines we have. When they were made Pelizzatti was one of the largest producers in the Valtellina and they bottled 50 times as much wine as today – their enormous cement tanks are still in place at Ar.Pe.Pe., so visitors can get a sense of the scale of the old operation. I’ve tasted a few very good old Pelizzatti wines; when an Italian friend offered a number of cases of some 1974s I jumped on it. The wines are a steal! Jamie Wolff

 

 

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Pelizzatti 1974 Valtellina Superiore Inferno

Considered to be the warmest part of the valley of Valtellina (hence the dramatic name) Inferno is situated close to the town of Poggiridenti, with the grapes growing on steep slopes and rocky soils. This 1974 has aged gracefully, with a faint grip of tannins and good acidity framing slightly vegetal and herbal notes of sage and mint, with coffee, tobacco, cedar, warm spice and hint of cured meat and smoke. Fully mature, this is a wine to be enjoyed now with roasted meat, game, or a mushroom risotto. Oskar Kostecki

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Pelizzatti 1974 Valtellina Superiore Sassella

Sassella is widely considered to be the most noble and elegant of the five subzones of Valtellina. Terraced vineyards on steep, south-facing slopes produce high quality "mountain nebbiolo" with great ability to age. The 1974 Sassella from Pelizzatti still clings to a bit of fruit, with notes of dried cherry, cherry pit and red plum being accompanied by cedar, sage, and hint of smokiness. Drink now with roasted pork, game, or savory dishes laden with umami. Oskar Kostecki

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