Visiting Denavolo – July 2019

On the heights of Campo Rotonde, overlooking the valley


Denavolo: Tour of the vines

4 July, 2019

After my visit to Tunia in Tuscany, I continued on my way to northern Italy.
Next destination: Denavolo at Giulio Armani’s.

We took advantage of the morning freshness to visit the vines. Giulio, always optimistic, is looking forward to this upcoming vintage.

Let’s go back a little bit to review the strong climatic moments of this vintage in the making…

Autumn was normal with a wet and cool November and December. Then, a mild winter arrived. Indeed, even though January was rather cold, the following months had temperatures above the seasonal normals.  These very dry months delayed the budburst which occurred in mid-April.

With April and May came back the cold and humidity: it was 4°C on May 5th! During this period, the vines grew very slowly.

Since June, temperatures have increased and it has been very hot since then, as normal for summer here in Emilia Romagna.

The growth of the vine has been completely unblocked and the vines are very beautiful, green, leafy with a nice load of grapes. All the water that fell in Spring contributed to this growth and a good nourishment for the bunches that are now formed.



Photo left : state of vines 30th April 2019
Photo right : state of vines 3 July 2019

New projets at Denavolo

Until now, the estate measured 5.5 ha with :

  • 2.5 ha in Débé, old vines planted in 1975
  • 3 ha of young vines, planted in 2008 and 2009 on Cassinera and Campo Rotonde.

Since 2018, it has grown to 7 ha with:

  • 1 ha of Ortrugo in tenant farming. The plot is located on the other side of the Trebbia River, at a slightly lower altitude (about 250 metres), on soil very similar to the other Denavolo plots. The soil is calcareous, well draining and with shallow water sources allowing a good supply of nutrients to the vines. Ortrugo is not very aromatic but brings a beautiful acidity.
  • 0.5 ha on the Débé plot, planted with Ortrugo and Malvasia di Candia Aromatica.



New parcel, old vine Ortrugo, lieu-dit Caverzago 

New Cuvée: Cenaghi 2018

The estate also produces a new wine since 2018, Cenaghi in the lieu-dit of Caverzago in the municipality of Travo.

The wine is made from a selection of parcels from the top of the Campo Rotonde hillside. It is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Ortrugo, Marsanne and 5% Malvasia di Candia Aromatica.

The wine was vinified by skin maceration, the racking was done in June after 8 months of maceration.

Plantings of Ortrugo &t Malvasia di Candia Aromatica



Left leaf = Ortrugo & Right leaf = Malvasia di Candia Aromatica


Preparing for the Future

Since this new tenant farming, the estate has reached 7 ha, but Giulio dreams of expanding the estate even further.

The plots Giulio has set his sights on are those currently cultivated with wheat above Campo Rotonde, at an altitude of nearly 600 metres.

From this view, we overlook the whole valley that is dominated by a hilly landscape of alternating vineyards, crops and fields, with a camaieux of greens.

Giulio will plant Sauvignon Blanc there, he is certain of the potential of this grape variety on these calcareous soils and the ability to reach a beautiful maturity.


Giulio showing us his future parcel planned for Sauvignon blanc


View from the future parcel of Sauvignon blanc


Presentation of the Denavolo range

As you all have expected, Catavela 2018 was bottled on May 20.
It is a vintage with a light alcohol content of 9%.
The wine is aromatic with notes of citrus fruit, sage and a delicate bouquet.
The attack is frank and fresh, floral. There are aromatic herbal notes on the palate.
We can smell some tannins, and the length in the mouth is more important than in the 2016 vintage.

We have started to talk to you about it and to make you taste this new cuvée on the fairs at the beginning of the year!  Since the end of May, this small production has been in bottle.
The wine comes from the vines planted on the limestone, stony and well-draining soils of Campo Rotonde at an altitude of 500 metres.
The five grape varieties: Ortrugo, Santa Maria and Marsanne are found in equal proportions of about 25% with 20% Sauvignon Blanc and a small proportion of Malvasia di Candia aromatica (5%). Santa Maria is an old grape variety from this region of Colli PIacentini, it has a medium structure, is a little more aromatic than Ortrugo but less aromatic than Malvasia di Candia Aromatica. It brings roundness and produces a lot of sugar. It is generally the grape variety used to produce the region’s Vin Santo.

Tasting: This wine needs a bit of time to open.
On the nose, notes of watermelon, melon, aromatic herbs.
Soft on the palate, yet a little more tannic than Catavela, pleasant bitterness on the finish.

Dinavolino 2018old vines of Débé on the bottom of the hillside parcel

The wine is still not yet bottled.  The bottling must be happening very soon…

Aromatic wine, with notes of bee’s wax, pine, cedar. Good intensity
In the mouth, light and pleasant tannins, wine with a beautiful length and presence.

Dinavolo 2016old vines of Débé, on the top of the hillside parcel

Nose of hazelnuts typical of Dinavolo, Notes of cedars, beeswax, quince, orange peels, very intense.
Good concentration of soft tannins,
Mouth is long and rich with flavours of citrus fruits, cedar, pine, resin.

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