Viticultural area: Valcamonica

Associated viticultural areas Italy Italy Lombardy Lombardy Valcamonica Valcamonica

Valcamonica

Wine-growing in Valcamonica (Copyright Cantina Bignotti)Vines were grown in Valcamonica in Roman times, but it was overall from the late Middle Ages onward (from 1001 to 1321) that the foundations were laid for the highly specialized viticulture that we know today. Many documents from that period testify to the economic importance of vine-growing.
In the 16th century, thanks to Venetian rule, wine-growing developed considerably, but toward the end of the century vines were struck by blight and the area cultivated was reduced. Also in the 18th century, there was a serious crisis due to adverse weather conditions. In the next century, after overcoming the problem of diseases imported from overseas, viticulture in Valcamonica started to expand, reaching 2,000 ha in 1970, after which it shrank again to the roughly 140 hectares we can see today.

Facts and figures
Total wine-growing area of Valcamonica/Provincia di Brescia (ha.)

108

Total wine-growing area on difficult terrain
(altitude, steep slopes, terracing) (ha.)

ca. 83

Area with slopes > 30% (ha.)

13

Area at an altitude > 500 m above sea level (ha.)

2.

Area terraced (ha.)

52,20

Maximum altitude of the vineyards (m above sea level)

from 250 to 750 m.above sea level

Vineyards on difficult terrain

From Darfo to Sellero on the left and, especially on the orographic right of the river Oglio.

(Data updated to 2006)

Subdivision of the area

The most common situation of the wineries, 67% of the cases, is of holdings with an area less than 0.2 ha. These cover 50% of the area. 32% of the wineries have an area between 0.2 and 1, making up 43% of the total area. Only 1% have holdings between 1 and 3 ha., with 7% of the total area.

Wine-growing landscape

Part of the area planted with vines is in the Parco dell’Adamello.
The vines are mainly grown on terraces supported by dry stone walling, using traditional training methods. In most cases only vines are grown, but at times they are together with other market garden produce. The vineyard area is increasingly broken up by broadleaf forest or by land that used to be cultivated with vines, and still shows signs of the old vineyards.
The poor general condition of rural roads is one of the factors that restricts the development of wine-growing, and is one of the causes that have led to much of the vine-planted area being abandoned.

Main vines

White grapes:

  • Trebbiano
  • Incrocio Manzoni
  • Müller-Thurgau
  • Riesling renano
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot bianco
Black grapes:

  • Merlot
  • Marzemino
  • Barbera
  • Incrocio Terzi
  • Ciliegiolo
  • Valcamonec
  • Sebina