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In 1897 Domenico Triacca acquired 2000 square metres of vineyards in Valgella, one of the most beautiful sites in the Valtellina. He built himself a small cellar where he made his own grapes into wine, thereby establishing a model of vine growing and winemaking that still serves Triacca today, four generations later estate-bottled wines are made from grapes grown in the family’s own vineyards, the meaning and essence of “Dalla mia Vigna”. The once modest holding has meanwhile grown to cover 45 hectares.
The Swiss family’s cross-border viticultural operations are no longer confined to the Valtellina. In 1969, they acquired the Tuscan estate “La Madonnina”, in the heart of the Chianti Classico region. Here another 100 hectares are under vines, yielding about 4000 hectolitres of Chianti Classico wine per year. In 1990, the family went on to acquire the “Santavenere” estate, with 33 hectares of vineyards, also in Tuscany and situated in a DOCG (de nominazione di origine controllata e garantita): Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Triacca has been an independent family company for four generations. Its headquarters and business centre for Switzerland, its main market, are in Campascio (Valposchiavo) near the Italian border. The production centre for Valtellina wines is located at Villa di Tirano, from where the business and administrative activities for the Italian market are conducted. The 140 hectares of Tuscan vineyards are managed by the production centre of La Madonnina estate in Strada in Chianti.

Some of Italy’s most expensive grapes come from the Valtellina. Yet, the back-breaking work needed to cultivate the grapes, in the steep terrain of the vineyards often meant their production was simply not economically worthwhile. This prompted a forwardlooking decision by Triacca 25 years ago, whereby they resolved to improve the quality of the grapes, lower production costs and refine their winemaking techniques to their present standard. The first objective was to improve the quality of the principal grape variety, Nebbiolo (also known as Chiavennasca). A rigorous clonal selection was carried out over a period of 20 years to obtain the best that the Nebbiolo grape can offer in the Valtellina: wines with aboveaverage glycerol and extraction levels, complex, well-balanced tannins and an intense red hue. Vine density in the rows of newly planted, selected vines is 7500 plants per hectare – far higher than in the past. However, each vine bears fewer grapes than before. Quality is raised by limiting yields.
To lower production costs, horizontal terracing was introduced – a revolutionary step at the time in the Valtellina. This allowed many tedious tasks that had traditionally been done by hand to be facilitated through the use of machinery, from mowing to mulching to manuring. Funiculars were intro duced to make transport up and down the steep hillsides easier. The ripened grapes are now vinified in state-of-the-art cellars. Wood has been largely replaced by stainless steel. Steel tanks permit optimal temperature control. By separating out the pips, harsh tannins can be removed before fermentation, leaving only the softer tannins. New cultivation methods leave the grapes on the vine to dryfruiting branches are cut, and the grapes remain on the vine for 25 days before vinification, during which time they give up moisture and gain enormously in fruit and extract, making them particularly suited to ageing in small oak barrels. The result is the distinctive taste of Prestigio Triacca, in which the firm’s past and future are harmoniously united.

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