Monte di Grazia
- Amalfi, Campania, Italy
Monte di Grazia is one of the latest additions to Bowler’s growing stable of excellent Italian growers. They are located in Campania in the town of Tramonti, inland and up from the Amalfi Coast, in the Lattari Mountains. It’s a cool, breezy microclimate and an isolated place. This is the first time—in any spot in the world—that our freight forwarder told us the only way to manage the pickup is with a specialized truck! This isolation, combined with altitude and volcanic soil, is also the reason why Tramonti is a pristine pocket of pre-phylloxera grapes. Alfsono Arpino, a pediatrician from the town, established the estate in 2004 out of love and respect for these old vines. His children, Olivia and Fortunato, are also involved in the operation, and today, the Arpino family farms 3.2 hectares of certified organic vineyards, as well as a hectare each of a lemon orchard and a chestnut grove.
The grape vines are ungrafted and trained in giant pergolas known locally as tendone. These vines are among the oldest vines in Italy: most are over 100 years old, with some approaching 300 years old. Replanting is done via propaggine, in which a cane from an exisiting plant is bent towards the earth and partially buried there, allowing it to take root. The red varieties are Tintore di Tramonti, Piedirosso, Moscio, Sciascinoso, Olivella, and the whites are Pepella, Biancatenera, and Ginestra.
To taste Monte di Grazia’s wines is to connect with a delicious, deep biology and history of a place.