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Sandro Fay

While Nebbiolo (the grape of Barolo and Barbaresco) may be just another grape outside its heralded comfort zone, it enjoys a touch of its northern glory in the Valtellina appellation of Italy’s Lombardia region. This is fitting, as Valtellina shares Piemonte’s fierce independent streak, inspired by its geographic isolation. It is not known how Nebbiolo, which goes by the somewhat imposing name of Chiavennasca here, came to inhabit the Valtellina, which enjoys a beneficent coolness tempered by warm and dry breezes from Lake Como. While Nebbiolo has acclimated itself to the unique climatic makeup of Valtellina, it has difficulties achieving a desirable level of ripeness.

Valtellina winemakers, however, have turned this potential shortcoming into their region’s most striking and sensuous red—Sforzato. Similar in style to the Veneto’s Amarone, a Sforzato-styled wine is crafted from partially dried Nebbiolo grapes. This stylistic strategy, known as appassimento, produces a glycerin-rich wine that offers intense aromatics and a more savory character than that of an Amarone.

Sandro Fay is based in the small town of San Giacomo di Teglio and is widely regarded as one of the leading producers in the region.

Valgella Carteria
Ca' Morrei
Sforzato Ronco del Picchio
Sforzato Valtellina

Region: Lombardia

Ca' Morrei
La Faya IGT