They call it heroic viticulture It is here that farmers are cultivating vines in inaccessible places, where nature rules, occupying much of the space. This is where expert hands and tools are shaping the region, respecting it, and bringing it back to its ancient beauty.
This is how places with great spirit are born, where you can read the history of a village and its people in the shape of the land - in a dry-stone wall, in the terraces, in the woodlands that rise up the slopes of the mountain; where you can hear the voices of men and women as they work, courageously and tenaciously setting about recovering land that has been abandoned, forgotten, or just left to the mountain.
This is how places with great spirit are born
They have maintained and cleared it, made it fertile, and brought new life to it, respecting its shape and restoring its fruit-bearing past. It is in places like this that you can feel the scale of the effects of nature and mankind on the land, the sap that runs through the soil, the vines, orchards, and chestnut trees.
Taking a walk on a sunny day, accompanied by Riccardo and Gisella, we visit the vines of their small farm, ‘Il Petar’, in the hamlet of Mortaso in the Municipality of Spiazzo.
Just a few words are enough for you to understand the heart of this place, you can see it all in their eyes and the folds of their hands. Their history is in the land, in the hard work of recovery planning, of equilibrium and biodiversity: a path from the soil to the glass that is not taken for granted here at the foot of the Adamello, the largest glacier in the Italian Alps.
Those who know the valley well say that the winemakers in Val Rendena are a relatively recent feature. But that’s not quite how it is: il seems that wine was already being produced here in 1500. At that time, it was friars who learnt about it, now it is farmers and small producers like Riccardo who know all of the secrets of the land, and how their wine will taste, even before it is made, because the smell of the soil already tells them all they need to know.
Riccardo Collini is an all-around winemakerHe used to make wine with his grandfather using grapes grown in the Garda area for small-scale homemade production. This homemade approach is still used by Riccardo and his wife Gisella in their winery. A glass of their wine is a nectar that tastes of the crisp mountain air, of land that has been lovingly tended with passion, persistence, and continuous commitment. The winery was established in 1994, and by 2012 the first Solaris vines had been planted on Spiazzo’s ancient terrace.
At an altitude of 700m, this hardy vine, which does not require any treatment, produces an aromatic white wine, Ronc’OR, naturally defined and fermented, that differs from one year to the next, as it is characterised by the elements of high altitude, time, sun, moon, and soil. With a strong, robust flavour, pleasing acidity and a high alcohol content.
Coldariva The ‘Il Petar’ cellar also has a red, a full-bodied Merlot called Coldariva: its aroma, colour and terroir have the notes of a process, a journey from the Val Rendena glacier to the sands of the Garda valley, bringing with it the constantly increasing minerality of the Sarca river.
We continue to walk up the slope to reach the winery’s small orchard, from which they produce their sweet apple juice; we continue through the chestnut trees that were introduced last autumn and finish up by taking a seat on a wooden bench by the hut where the goats are kept, constructed by Riccardo’s capable hands.
The view from here is beautiful, inclusive, aware that a love of the soil only bears good fruit.