The most southern part of the Valle dell’Adige valley in Trentino, where the Small Dolomites and the mountain range with Mount Baldo accompany Lake Garda in its expansion towards the Veneto lowlands, is where one finds the vineyards of the Ala winery, a land rich in memories and that once was the theatre of the disputes between the Austrian empire and the ‘Serenissima Repubblica’ of Venice. It was actually thanks to these events and to the ensuing trade that took place among the peoples populating it that Marzemino reached this land from the faraway and mysterious Asia Minor.
Marzemino grapes are cultivated in the best soils created from the erosion and plucking actions of glaciers that, with their passage, formed gentle hills and fertile promontories, and in the best positions for exposure to sunlight thanks to the specific orientation of the valleys. Thus this variety manages to fully express its potential, reach the correct stage of ripeness and generate wines featuring gentle fragrances and harmonious flavours.
Trained on classical Trentino pergolas, Marzemino is a variety that requires long pruning, while its young green buds are very fragile and sensitive to the action of the wind. Only the skillful work of the vine growers who patiently tie and arrange the vine stocks ensures the selection of the best buds for grape production.
2017 vintage and drying
Once they are ripe, half of the clusters of Marzemino grapes are harvested strictly by hand, checked and delicately placed in special bins where they begin their drying period in controlled temperature and humidity conditions. The grapes evolve and ripen further for various months, drying naturally and developing those notes and fragrances that provide this wine with harmony and richness.The other half of the clusters are left on the vines to continue ripening naturally before the arrival of the rainy season, and then harvested by hand and pressed.
The pressing of the fresh grapes is done very slowly and delicately so that the grape berries do not break completely but are only crushed. This lengthens the subsequent fermentation phase.The crushing of the dried grape berries is done in late Autumn after they have spent months in the drying lofts. Due to the consistency of these berries, a special procedure called “sgranellatura” is performed, and the small quantities of juice resulting from it will become the base in which the yeasts will begin their very slow fermentation process.
Fermentation of fresh grapes: after resting for two nights at 8°C, the crushed must is inoculated with specific yeasts that will exalt the organoleptic features of this variety. Fermentation is slow and kept under controlled temperature, while pump-over sessions are short but frequent.Fermentation of dried grapes: the addition of select yeasts is done immediately, even if the temperature of the must is rather low due to the season (7-9°C). Fermentation is very slow and can last even for weeks. During this period the wine extracts the best components from the skins and grape seeds, thus elevating its structure and its aromatic richness and character.
After malolactic fermentation, the two components are left to rest and sediment for a few months before a part is transferred to oak barriques. During assembly, the various components are blended so as to prepare for bottling and then left to age in the bottle.
A wine featuring a unique and distinctive personality, expressed through a charming aromatic profile that ranges from ripe and warm fruit, tending towards passito aromas such as prune and maraschino cherry, to a spiced note featuring eucalyptus and coriander with balsamic and almond complements. To the palate it offers a dense but delicate structure and the freshness of fruit in a finish typical of all great reds.