I’m still catching my breath after my two-week trip to Italy, which included an afternoon (and a great lunch) with the Ferraro family last Saturday.
They were keen to show me their newest vineyard in Monfumo township (a tiny town in Treviso province).
This growing site, with its 100-year-old vines, “is what saved us,” said Luca in the aftermath of the excessively rainy and cold summer of 2014.
I’ll be posting more on the Monfumo site later but in the meantime, I wanted to share the above photo, taken from the vineyard looking south-southeast.
It’s such a great example imho of what “morainic” hills look like.
Morainic hills were formed by glacial debris. Essentially, they’re big mounds of rocks, the “glacial flour” of stones ranging in size from pebbles to boulders.
Click here for the Wiki entry for moraine.
These hills jut up out of the landscape, as if they were exploding from the valley floor. Just on the other side of the hills in the image, the land is flat.
The stony composition of these hills makes it hard to grow conventional crops there. The soils are very nutrient poor but they provide the excellent drainage that you need to grow fine wine grapes.
The more the grapes have to struggle to find the water table, the more vigorous they become and the richer their fruit.
And in the case of the rainy vintage of 2014, they helped to drain off excess water and kept the grapes balanced in their ripening. The drainage also helped to eliminate excess humidity and kept the fruit more healthy, as it wasn’t as challenging to combat rot and mildew.
In a few weeks or so, I’ll be posting some video that we shot at the site. In the panoramas we filmed, I hope you’ll be able to see what a special place this is.