Umbria

Vittorio Mattioli

Vittorio MattioliThe Mattioli family has been cultivating the rugged hillsides of southernmost Umbria since the 12th century. The Romans called their town Collecapretta, which means “hill of the goats.” Not far from Spoleto, in the tiny, nearly impossible-to-find town of Terzo la Pieve, today’s farm is made up of 8 hectares of which 2 is planted in a mixture of local olive trees, 2 of farro and other ancient grains, and 4 of indigenous old vines.

Vittorio Mattioli, his wife Anna, and their daughter Annalisa, live together with 3 generations of their family. Their home overlooks the valley below with the high Apennine Mountains and Gran Sasso looming in the background. At an elevation of 500-plus meters, the soils are a mixture of calcium and iron-rich clay with outcroppings of tufo and travertine limestone. Their total output of wine, in a good year, is 8,000 bottles. They choose to vinify, however, many different cuvees because they want to best express the vineyard and their indigenous grape varietals.

All the wines are made in much the same fashion: natural fermentation takes place in open-top cement containers without temperature control or sulfur additions. The wines then age for various amounts of time in glass-lined cement vats or resin tanks before bottling in sync with the waning lunar cycle. No sulfur used at any point in the winemaking process. All farming in the vineyards is completely natural. Only composts made from their own animals are used to promote the health of the vines.