Valtellina is one of Italy's smallest wine regions and contains no less than 2 DOCGs in the form of Sfozato di Valtellina and Valtellina Superiore. The former making passito style wines which have an alpine freshness about them unlike other passito wines from Italy.
Located in a small corridor to the north east of Lake Como in the Lombardy region of Italy, it's slightly off the beaten track and well trodden tourist paths. Realtively quiet in summer although in winter the area is popular with skiers with 300km of slopes.
Here Nebbiolo is king but is known by a different name to its Piemontese neighbour and takes the name of Chiavennasca. The DOCG wines pair supremely with the local gastronomy like the local cheeses; Bitto and Casera and of course the famous air dried beef that has its own appellation, Bresaola Valtellina PGI.
They make the perfect combination for a decadent Italian Alpine picnic, as I have enjoyed on a few occasions watching the sun go down behind the mountains on Lake Como!
some of the most typical varieties