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Can Good Whites be Found in Italy’s Red Valtellina?

Does Valtellina make great white wines too?

Valtellina is a mountainous area of northern Italy’s Lombardy region which is fairly well known for its interesting red wines. Does the area produce interesting whites too? This is a question I asked myself and others via Italy Chronicles’ complimentary @newsfromtaly account on Twitter a few months ago. As a result, someone is now searching Valtellina for drinkable white wines and found one, as you will discover. Oh the power of Twitter!

I reasoned that seeing as Valtellina is not dissimilar to other white wine producing areas in northern Italy, such as the Trentino Alto Adige area, for example, then it too could, potentially, produce high quality whites.  Italy’s Trentino Alto Adige area is known for its Pinot Bianco/Chardonnay mixes. According to Drinks Business Alto Adige wine producer Cantina Terlano has a reputation for producing excellent whites. The Piedmont Langhe area also produces excellent whites. So why not Valtellina?

Indeed, via a quick search in the web, I did find a few examples of Valtellina white wines and their prices were not bargain basement either. There seemed to be a chance that a decent white can be found in Valtellina.

Does Valtellina make great white wines too?
Does Valtellina make interesting white wines too?

Enter Eminent Wine Hunter Jim Dunlop

NewsfromItaly follower Jim Dunlop, a down to earth Scot who passes lots of time in Italy and loves a good drop of wine, red or white, rose to the challenge – which we both regard as a bit of fun – and is scouting, and tasting, Valtellina wines as I write this. He appears to be making some progress on the white wine front and I am awaiting his observations.

While Jim was initially rather dubious that the Valtellina area could produce interesting whites, there are some signs that he may be changing his mind.

One Valtellina wine producer Jim Dunlop rates very highly is Mamete PrevostiniIn 2014, Prevostini’s Sforzato di Valtellina Albareda 2010 and Valtellina Superiore Sassella San Lorenzo 2010 wines weren rated very highly by ViniPlus, so it’s not just Mr Dunlop who thinks Prevostini produces top quality wines. 

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Will this Valtellina wine producer’s whites be as good? Aside from making excellent reds, Prevostini also happens to produce a Chardonnay/Sauvignon blend white with the easy to remember name Opera

Here’s what the Opera wine bottle label looks like, not that remembering the name should prove to be much of a problem:

Mamete Prevostini opera white wine
A white wine for music lovers? Mamete Prevostini Opera.

Good White Wine in Valtellina

What is this Valtellina Opera white like? Jim Dunlop cracked open a bottle said it was very good. The answer to the question which heads this article is thus: yes, good whites wines can be found in Italy’s red Valtellina area!

By the way, Valtellina is well worth exploring and can be reached by train from Milan.


Photo Credit

Tresivio” by en:Orzetto – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tresivio.jpg. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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