From: Lombardy, Italy
Tasting Notes: "Sforzato" (Sfursat) is the most well-known and oldest of the Valtellina wines. The term Sforzato translates to strained and the method in which the grapes are forced through (s)forzatura delle uve to obtain greater concentration. Similar to Amarone, the Nebbiolo grapes are late-harvested in October and left to dry in boxes for two months - usually on the upper floors of the winery. The cool Alpine winds and the La Breva breezes from Lake Como aid in an even drying process. The appassimento method concentrates the sugars and results in a wine with more body and alcohol. The name Infinito evokes the potential of this wine and its incredible length, elegance, and body.
Valtellina is Italy’s only valley to run east to west and was carved by the glaciers that moved down the granite mountain slopes during the last ice age to the valley floor where the Adda river now runs east into Lago di Como and eventually into the Po river. It is unarguably one of the most dramatic landscapes in Italy and home to some of the most extreme vineyards in the world. You may feel like you’ve passed into Switzerland without knowing it when, in fact, you’ve ended up in Valtellina, the northernmost part of Lombardy that forms part of the border between Italy and Switzerland.
It’s easy to fall in love with this land and the landscape and there have, no doubt, been many people who’ve visited and then spent their days and nights dreaming up ways to take over a small plot of land to make wine from the local Nebbiolo grape, called Chiavennasca, which produces alpine red wines with personality, elegance, and finesse. One such person is Cristina Scarpellini who turned the dream into reality when she agreed to rent an acre of vineyards from a viticolore client in Valtellina in 2008. At the time, Cristina was an international business lawyer and the one acre of vines was only a hobby endeavor. It didn’t take long for Cristina to understand the potential of this hobby and she transitioned out of law and moved to make it her full-time reality.
Today, Tenuta Scerscé has 7 ha (17. acres) of vineyards - 3 ha are owned in Teglio (Valgella) and 4 ha are leased (2 ha in Tirano, 1 ha Sassella, 1 ha Inferno) all planted to Nebbiolo, locally known as Chiavennasca. The vineyards range from 1500 – 2100 feet above sea level and are often less than a half-acre in size. They are planted on terraces held together by dry, stone retaining walls called muretti, some of which are over 1,000 years old. This historic architecture was awarded a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 2018.
It's taken some years, but Cristina has dedicated her time and her vision to build a new winery, which is located on the eastern side of the Valtellina zone in Tirano. The Tenuta Scerscé logo and name come from the name of a farming tool - a traditional, two-pronged metal pitchfork/hoe, called sciarscél. This tool is used for small jobs in the vineyard, tending to vine shoots and the roots, and demonstrated the winery's commitment to sustainable farming practices.
Christina works with famed Tuscan winemaker, Attillo Pagli, who joined the winery in 2016. Together they producer three traditional wines of the region: Rosso di Valtellina DOC, Valtellina Superiore DOCG and Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG.
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