- Marche, Italy
Ca’Liptra was founded in 2012. The four partners met either at enology school or on the job at some of Le Marche’s top wineries (La Distesa, Pievalta, Fattoria Le Terrazze). Calyptra is a botanical term; it’s the thin cap that protects the flowering parts as they are developing. In grapevines this part blows off as the flowering process begins. The name Ca’Liptra is a combination of Ca’ (meaning “house of”) and the initials of the partners’ last names (Giovanni Loberto, Agostino Pisani, Antonella TRaspadini, Roberto Alfieri).
The estate is located in Cupramontana, one of the highest-quality villages in the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi denomination. Specifically, Ca’Liptra’s vineyards are in the contrada of San Michele. San Michele is unique, as it is one of the warmest spots in the Jesi zone and it also contains its oldest soils, with elevated limestone and gypsum content. Wines from this area tend to be concentrated without lacking verve, and also quite saline and long.
Ca’Liptra’s five hectares of vines are split between seven parcels, all walking distance from one another, allowing the estate to focus on producing wines that are truly representative of a small area. Because almost no land is for sale and planting new vineyards is exceedingly restricted, the estate works with old vines, mostly planted in the ‘70s and ‘80s, with one plot dating back to 1948. The vineyards are planted to Verdicchio, Trebbiano Toscano, Malvasia Toscana/Malvasia Romagnola, Montepulciano, and a touch of Sangiovese.
Farming is organic (with certification for most parcels), with a focus on restoring a sense of balance, which is difficult to come by in a de facto monoculture such as a vineyard. To that end, no fertilization is done, only the first few centimeters of topsoil are worked, and cover crops are matched to the specific needs of each vineyard, if they are even needed.
In the cellar, much is left to intuition and taste, like old-school vignaioli. While the ragazzi have day jobs as enologists elsewhere that require understanding and reacting to lab analysis, at home at Ca’Liptra, these measurements are not taken. Though there has been much experimentation and searching since the inaugural vintages of each wine, the range is now feeling complete, reflecting the particular terroir of San Michele in a valid but personal way.
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