Sandro Fay of the Valgella sub-zone of Valtellina, Italy
Sandro Fay began in 1971 when Sandro redeveloped the small vineyard that his family owned in Teglio in the Valgella sub-zone. Today his children, Marco and Elena, manage the vineyards.
Elena poured for us, explaining the importance of Teglio, where her family has lived for generations. Valtellina, she tells us, means the Valley of Teglio. The city sits centered between Sondrio and Tirano, on the hillside at 900 meters. There once was a castle with a tower to overlook the entire region. Today, only the tower is left. Their 15 hectares of vineyard are mostly in this village of Teglio.
We visited Valtellina as part of a Media trip with the 2022 Wine Media Conference, spending 2 days immersed in the region and its wines.
This tasting was sponsored by the Consorzio di Tutela dei Vini di Valtellina.
Cà Moréi Valtellina Superiore DOGC Valgella 2018
The first wine she pours for us is their Cà Moréi Valtellina Superiore DOGC Valgella 2018
This is a single vineyard wine. Her grandmother lived in a house in the middle of this vineyard. “Cà Moréi” means “the House of the Morelli.” This was Mansueto Morelli’s house. His daughter Emma married Pietro Fay.
This steep vineyard sits at 550 meters and has very shallow sandy soil. Elena notes that 2018 was warm, but it was a very balanced vintage with good acidity and mineral notes. I noticed cinnamon notes and soft baking spices. The fruit is there, but it is tempered by juniper, anise, and rustic spices.
Ronco del Picchio Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG 2019
200 meters further up the slope is the vineyard where the vines are for the Sforzato.
Ronco del Picchio means Vineyard of the Woodpecker, referring to a small wooded area behind the vineyard. Their Ronco del Picchio Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG 2019 comes from the San Gervasio vineyard, which sits at 750 meters. The high altitude gives acid to balance the wine and helps the grapes develop thicker skins which means more tannins, which give depth to the wine.
Their wines are imported to the US by T Edward Wines & Spirits in New York and Florida. https://tedwardwines.com/producers/sandro-fay
Find more on the wines of Valtellina at the Consorzio website.
More on the wines of Italy from Crushed Grape Chronicles
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine and WSET 3 Certified. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.
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This is a region we know so little about…by the description of the city center, would love to visit one day!
This is such a stunning region, tucked up in the Alps. The Nebbiolo here, has an elegance and sense of ‘verticalness’ that comes from the altitude. I would love to return and explore further and get to all the little towns tucked into the hillsides.