The characteristics of our landscape is an intimate interplay of different, typical issues defined by the environment and the culture of production. These issues affect wine growing and lend the wines unique characteristics while the Outer Giudicarie offers superb conditions for the production of sparkling wines.
These key factors, found in both landscape and culture, are applied to the winery and characterize our sparkling wines with a vast aromatic bouquet, typicity and a uniqueness beyond compare.
The Outer Giudicarie
The typical alpine climate, with its high variations in temperature, affect the quality of the wines. This climate guarantees especially the appropriate acidity until the grapes are fully matured. These variations in temperature stand for a broad aromatic spectrum.
In the vineyards of LEVII the variations of temperature are caused by two essential issues: Ora del Garda (the wind on the lake Garda), warm and soft, and the fresh breeze, which flows from the Brenta Dolomites.
The Brenta Dolomites is the mountain group, on whose slopes our vineyards lay. These build a marvelous alpine landscape and have been nominated as UNESCO world cultural heritage. The presence of these mountains is essential, as it guarantees the altitude, the solar irradiation and the variations in temperature which ensure the quality of the grape crop.
The Brenta Dolomites
The Ora del Garda is a warm afternoon breeze which regularly blows northwards from lake Garda. The wind blows through the whole valley "Valle dei Laghi" and the Limaro–canyon before it arrives at our vineyards.
This wind brings many advantages for our vineyards. It increases the daily variations of temperature, sees to it that the vineyards are constantly aerated and therefore guarded against illnesses, eases the icy winterly temperatures and guarantees a better chance for survival of the vines.
Ora del Garda (the wind on the lake Garda)
The growing density of each vineyard lays over 7,000 plants per hectare and brings various positive aspects. Particularly the vine competition leading to deeper roots and therefore the plants get more resistant against external influences. In addition the growth gets reduced, whereby the plants are less suseptable to illnesses. In the end it leads to a lower yield.
The average yield does not exceed the margin of 80 tonnes per hectare; this can be led back to a high growing density, low fertility of the soils and the alpine climate. This results considerably in the final quality of the grapes. The limited production supports the concentration of flavors and active components of the grape.
The average altitude of the vineyards is 650 meters above sea level and guarantees the production of excellent sparkling wine grapes.
The grapes need a high acidity, which is influenced by the altitude and the increased temperature. To keep this acidity until maturation two possibilities are offered: The grapes can be harvested early which entails the harvest of immature grapes, or the vines can be planted on higher elevations. The second possibility promises a second advantage: an appropriate maturation of the grapes, as the vineyards lay on hills where an ideal solar irradiation is given and at the same time, thanks to the daily variations in temperature, the acidity gets preserved. In the end this altitude brings fineness, freshness and persistence.
The vineyards of LEVII lay on steep slopes with an inclination of 15% to 45%. These plantations guarantee an appropriate exposure and ideal solar irradiation levels. However several technical and economical disadvantages, and surely some difficulties in handling are given. The effort required is much higher than in flatter areas.
Each vineyard is characterized by an ideal solar irradiation, which can be traced back to the steep slopes of the vineyards and the correct exposition to the South. Therefore the grapes are constantly under the effect of light from early morning until sunset. The solar irradiation and the exposition are very important issues, because they guarantee the ideal maturation of the grapes.
Exposition and solar irradiation
The proportion between maturation and acidity is a very important aspect in the production of sparkling wines. The acidity is indeed a fundamental issue during the long lasting ageing of the sparkling wines in the cellar. That’s why the cultivation itself is a very important factor, as it guarantees the ideal proportion between acidity and maturation and consequently an early harvest can be prevented.
Complete maturation and ideal acidity
The manual harvest allows a very gentle way to collect the grapes and protects consequently the whole vine. In this way the grapes are selected individually and afterwards they get laid in small boxes, where the damaged grapes can be removed. This prevents the squashing of the grapes and the eventual run out of the must and therefore the risk of oxidation disappears. The harvested grapes stay intact during the whole transport into the cellar.
The traditional method of fermentation, also called Champagne method, is more an art than a way of production and it offers the possibility to produce high quality sparkling wines. It’s strength lays in the slow fermentation in the bottle and the long ageing on the yeast. The time gets measured in years, not as other methods in months.