Someone call them the ladies of Sangiovese: women who grew up with the culture of wine in their blood and took the heritage of this centennial history of Romagna from their grandfather and fathers.
But this is not the case of Noelia Ricci: a lovely lady, daughter of Mr. Giuseppe Ricci, a local entrepreneur in love with his homeland. He was the one who bought 140 hectares of vineyard, once belonging to the Albicini marquis, starting a new way of conceiving the growing and producing wine.
Wine and excellence in Predappio
It’s a history of a family, a history of a man and a history of a place, Predappio, which began famous for less comfortable reasons during the Second World War.
Romagna has so big differences that sometimes it’s really very difficult to tell all about them. Predappio is one of these special areas: rich of limestone, sulfur and clay, it’s the ideal ground for Sangiovese that immediately gives you the sense and the emotions of the old times.
So when after a very long producing tradition under the name of Pandolfa (the name of the ancient Villa built by Albicini family in XVIII century), the nephew of Noelia, Marco Cirese, decided to take up the family business, a new history begun.
“This was my childhood paradise, told me Marco when I first visited the vineyard. It was holiday time, when I spent here three months for school summer vacations. I remember the people, the places I used to play at with other children. It was so different from Rome, my born town”. This was for me the best explanation of the reason why a young and successful manager decided to start this adventure, following the path of his mother, Paola, who is still working beside him.
Last December the brand Noelia Ricci, born to honor this strong lady, was first presented at Enologica in Bologna, a very important event that shows the regional food and wine world every year! And I was there invited by the Lady of Sangiovese, Annalisa Linguerri, a very capable sommelier. And after a while I had the chance to visit their vineyard and listen to the story of this family.
Sangiovese, the real treasure of Romagna
What you can see, arriving from Forlì (the main nearest town) at Pandolfa is this magnificent ancient red Villa, surrounded by some vineyards that cover the hills behind until your eye can go. But the estate is huger.
Climbing the hills you see a plenty of rows, well kept and divided on the base of different kinds of grapes. The wine of this new brand is based on the Cru philosophy: a wine made by the grapes of a special part of vineyard, with a very limited production and a very special nature. Il Sangiovese and Godenza are the two wines that come from this new era.
The help of Francesco Bordini, a very special oenologist, was fundamental, especially in the work during the growing of the grapes and then in the afterwards process. “It’s a matter of observing how the grapes are maturing on the tree. We know what the ground can give to them and we must be very careful in choosing the right time to harvest, especially if we want to obtain certain smells and that tastes that we have in our mind! The idea was to recover that old taste that Sangiovese had in ancient times: a true, honest, perfumed red wine which was the comfort drink of people every day.”
Tips and info
If you want to visit the vineyard, you can contact the local email address, email@example.com. The villa has a kind of cottage where you can also buy wines (they are not in the shops). A very special thing you can also taste is their Rosolio produced with their pomegranate. A real delicacy!
To reach the vineyard, take the A14 from Bologna until Forlì and then follow the indication for Predappio. You will see the Villa driving northbound on the right.