Marta Valpiani 2018 'La Farfalla' Sangiovese, Emilia-Romagna, Italy - DECANTsf

Marta Valpiani 2018 'La Farfalla' Sangiovese, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Marta Valpiani

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Marta Valpiani 2018 'La Farfalla' Sangiovese, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

In 1998, Elisa Mazzavillani and her mother, Marta Valpiani took over 12 HA of vineyards in Romagna, overhauling the land by hand to restore it to a more natural state of agriculture. Although they are not certified, Elisa focuses on sustainable practices in the winery (lower water and electricity usage; lighter glass bottles for a lower carbon footprint), and is integrating more biodynamic approaches into the vineyards with each vintage. An accomplished artist, Elisa creates the  labels herself, meant to reflect the beautiful flora and fauna found in their vineyards. 

Winemaker: Elisa Mazzavillani 

Farming: Biodynamic

Variety: Sangiovese

Terroir / Soil: 20 acres of vineyards — primarily Albana and Sangiovese — are located 820 to 1150 feet up both sides of the hill of Bagnolo, with fossil-laden soils of blue clay and fine yellow sand and gypsum.

Vinification: Hand-harvested.  Fermentation occurs with indigenous yeasts, and without malolactic fermentation.

Aging: Stainless steel

From our 2020 Bottle Club Notes:

Elisa Mazzavillani and her mother, Marta Valpiani, make wines in Romagna, between the two ancient towns of Castrocaro Terme and Terra del Sole in the culinary capital of Italy. Marta’s namesake winery began in 1998, but they did not release their first commercial vintage until 2006. Their 20 acres of vineyards — primarily Albana and Sangiovese — are located 820 to 1150 feet up both sides of the hill of Bagnolo, with fossil-laden soils of blue clay and fine yellow sand and gypsum. Light breezes from the Adriatic Sea carry a salinity in the air which adds to the lightness and savory quality of the culinary culture here.

Sustainability with biodynamic practices is of the most important to these women as they know they will not be the last of the Valpiani family to work this land. Using only green fertilizers from composts, cover crops, and have even sown wheat between the vine rows which helps keep pests and weeds away, eliminating the need for synthetic pesticides or herbicides. Even the vine-ties are 100% biodegradable– these have an ecological kraft paper coating that absorbs moisture and decomposes into cellulose fibers, while the iron inside rusts and turns into ferrous or ferric salt, helping to fertilize the soil.

Sustainability doesn’t end just in the vineyard. Elisa and Marta began their green campaign my buying lighter-weight glass, reducing CO2 emissions while shipping across the sea. The cellar itself is intentionally simple- Elisa and Marta work mostly by hand, and energy use is low-carbon, as the temperature in the winery is regulated by solar power panels, and any vehicles they use run on biofuel. In 2015, they began converting from organics to biodynamics. 

An accomplished artist, Elisa created the beautiful bottle labels herself, reflecting the local flora and fauna of the region — yet another deeply personal touch to the elegantly crafted wines which energetically express their Romagna terroir. The butterfly (La Farfalla) is a symbol for the duo of biodiversity and the evolution of both their vineyard and their experiences over the past 20 years. 

A lot goes into making a ‘simple’ table wine like the La Farfalla. But simplicity is elegance. 

Pairings are easy for a wine like this:  Margherita pizzas, any kind of pasta in red sauce or lasagna, radicchio salad with roasted peppers, prosciutto, and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.

— Simi Grewal


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