Loreto Apruntino, Abruzzo
Valentini is an idiosyncratic producer. For many years the estate was run by Edoardo Valentini, who with rare exceptions spoke of his wines only in the most general terms. He did not discuss his production methods beyond stating that in his cellar he only used large oak casks, never steel or plastic. He did not have a web site, nor would he communicate by e-mail.
Edoardo Valentini died in 2006, and his son Francesco now runs the estate, clinging to his father’s policies and methods. Valentini makes just three wines, a white Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, a red Montepucliano d’Abruzzo and a rose Cerasuolo d’Abbruzzo.
The wines of Valentini comes from organic and biodynamic production.
Francesco Valentini followed in the footsteps of his father and took the helm of the small farm after his death in 2006, having started to work alongside him in 1981 and after 33 years as a producer. As such, he has developed his own personal way of interacting with the world of wine, a world that he looks at from the magnificent hills of Abruzzo with the spirit of someone still capable of being surprised, not by the actions of people but by the beauty that nature brings forth every day.
What would you say to explain who you are and what wines you make to someone you don’t know?
''It doesn’t make much sense to talk about myself. As a wine producer, I am shaped by my experiences in my local area. Unfortunately, sometimes the inflated egos of certain producers push the things that are really important into the background. To talk about myself I would first of all start to talk about the “Trebbiano d’Abruzzo” grape, a cultivar that is absolutely unique and has nothing to do with other types of Trebbiano. Our cultivar, our grape variety, is native and dialogues perfectly with the area of the Abruzzo hills around Pescara. This is in contrast to Trebbiano Toscano, for example, which has a greater yield and is more resistant to disease, but is not intimately tied to this land. Here, where I am (Loreto Aprutino – editor’s note) is like being between the sea and the mountains, because we benefit from the influence of the Adriatic, which keeps the climate mild, but we also have the temperature differences needed to improve the grapes, especially in the nights prior to the harvest. So I am a craftsman who has all of this available to him. I benefit from an excellent raw material and have the sole task of enhancing it without distorting it, while respecting it as much as possible. Because of this, I don’t filter the wine in the cellar, I don’t control the temperatures, I don’t acidify and I don’t use concentrated must or selected yeasts, only a little sulphur dioxide. Of course, as a craftsman I have my own way of interpreting the vine, even if it means being out of fashion. Because I am all of this, and perhaps a little less myself, as an individual.''
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