Climate and viticulture
Valtellina is one of the most important Lombardy’s wine-producing areas. South-facing exposure and poor but punctual rainfalls during the year make of it the ideal place for viticulture. Its exposure permitted the creation of a positive local microclimate. While Rhaetian Alps protect the valley from cold Northern winds, the Bergamasque Alps with Mount Adamello are like a barrier for the Southern ones. To complete the picture, the “breva” (a warm breeze coming from Lake Como blowing from late spring all through the summer) promotes pollination and helps the ground and plants to dry. Growing vineyards in Valtellina is a practice that goes back to ages ago. The maximum width of the cultivated area was over 6.000 hectares, of which one third with Nebbiolo. During grape harvest in Valtellina, bunches of grape are brought on shoulders in big harvest baskets to tractors then to cellars through small paths and ladders, the only connections between fields.