Location: Orsogna, Province of Chieti, Abruzzi, Italy.
Approximately one and a half hours’ drive east of Rome is the estate of Gaetano Lamaletto. Born in a tiny village just two and a half miles away, Lamaletto left his native land over forty years ago with his newly wed Maria, staking everything he had on a South American ceramics venture that proved to be highly profitable. In 1995, the steel-willed magnate set out to craft a range of all-Abruzzi wines in celebration of his homeland. He sought the best vineyards on the market, securing superb hillside soil at the foot of Mount Maiella and a team of professionals to match. An unrelenting perfectionist, he actively coordinated every detail of the newborn operation and to this day, he is not satisfied until all aspects of Il Feuduccio have undergone his personal scrutiny.
The winery is entirely underground, dug into the rock, and consists of five floors, each covering 16,146 square feet. The heart of operations — vinification, barrel and barrique cellars and an area reserved for bottle aging — lies 46 feet beneath the vineyards. Surface under vine totals 133 acres on sandy/clayey/silty terrain. Microclimate is ideal, with very cool nights and warm days, and the vineyards are very well drained. Density is 1,800-2,050 vines per acre, yielding maximum 3.9 pounds per vine and an average total of 100,000 bottles yearly. Clones have been selected after painstaking soil analysis, plot per plot. All phases of the preparatory work have been supervised not only by Gaetano himself and Romano D'Amario, the enologist for the past six years, but by the Lamalettos' eldest daughter, the very lively and lovely Laura, whose family of six (husband Paolo Neri and their four children, Paolo Jr., Massimiliano, Alessandro and Victoria Maria) ensure the continuity of a project born to honor one's heritage and pass it on to the generations to come.
This year see the release of Il Feuduccio's new rosé 2011 Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo DOC. The other wines will also be receiving redesigned labels, starting with Pecorino, Feuduccio, and Fonte Venna.