The Winery Today
Today, the winery has 60 hectares (148 acres) of vineyards, on estates that total 100 hectares (247 acres). The grapes are processed in the family’s historic cellars located in the small medieval hamlet of Vittorito. The commitment that begins in the vineyards continues through to the cellars, which are the oldest in all of Abruzzo.
The vineyards lie in the area between Vittorito and Corfinio, at elevations from 350 to 400 metres above sea level. The vines enjoy excellent exposure to sunlight, and experience significant temperature differences between day and night, which are the best conditions for grapes to grow in. The primarily clay-based soil is medium textured and rich in organic material, which gives an assertive character to the wines that is typical to the area. The vines grow on mid and high level hill slopes, optimal not only for the ripening process, and also to concentrate the flavours and aromas. This balances the relatively high acidity, making it enjoyable with or without food.
The winery is committed to developing the full potential of an area that has a tradition of producing great wines of the highest quality. They are also dedicated to preserving and improving the status of indigenous red grape varieties such as Montepulciano, as when it grows in Abruzzo it produces world class wine.
Nurturing The Vines
There is a saying that “wine is made in the vineyard”. With this in mind, 90% of the vines are trained to the spur-pruned cordon and Guyot systems, which tend to reduce the crop, and significantly improve the concentration and balance in the wines. Alongside younger plantings, older vineyards of 30-35 years old have been preserved, whose grapes go to produce select, limited-production wines. The winery deliberately keeps the grape yields below the DOC production codes in order to always maintain high quality standards. Over the years, the family has increased its original nucleus of vineyards by gradually acquiring additional properties. Each parcel of land
gives a unique expression of its own individual climate. The distinctive personality of each area provides the wines with a sense of place, one difficult to emulate anywhere else in the world.
The grapes are picked when they have reached the perfect ripeness, and have an ideal balance between sugars and acids, so that they show the full characteristics of the grape and the vineyards. The respect for tradition can be easily witnessed by visiting the historic production complex, built before 1830. Today, this facility is used to mature the winery’s finest red wines in large Slavonian oak botti, a unique type of barrel.
Inside the Cellar
In the underground cellars by the production facility, lie the centuries-old botti, in sizes ranging from 32 to 365 hectolitres, crafted by local artisans in 1870 from oak and walnut. Thanks to careful renovations, they are still in use today. The modern winemaking facility rises alongside the cellars, and employs the most state-of-the-art technology for vinification, storage and bottling, with every operation focused on preserving and maximising the individual qualities of the grapes. It is here that Pietrantonj perform their exclusive bottling for Zavatti Vino. Of particular importance is the considerable investment that went into temperature control of the numerous stages of grape handling, wine maturation and bottled wine storage. The Pietrantonj production philosophy dictates that the maturation of red wines is carried out in oak casks of medium and large capacity. This helps to ensure that the qualities of the grape varieties, and the winery’s sense of tradition, are both faithfully preserved.