Elena explains: “Sitting with my husband and my brother one day, we started talking and thought, ‘Why don’t we start our own winery? We already have beautiful vineyards, which are managed by my brother, a winemaker; my husband’s company is one of the most important importers of French wines in Italy so he can help with the commercialization; I have the administrative background and experience, having grown up in the vineyards.’ So, in 2004, we put all of our strengths together and opened the winery, and it’s paid off. We are truly a family business in every sense of the meaning. BiancaVigna is not only the color of the Prosecco grape (bianca means white in Italian) but also my daughter’s name, Bianca, as we hope the family tradition continues.”
The passion behind each bottle of wine comes first and foremost from a profound love and respect for the land and the territory. The grapes (predominantly Glera, the local white grape from which Prosecco is produced) for each of BiancaVigna’s sparkling wines are carefully farmed from the 30 hectares (74 acres) of vineyards in the DOCG and DOC areas of Conegliano Valdobbiadene, the most important area for Prosecco wines. Soils are mostly of alluvial origin (limestone and clay), rich in the minerals and microelements that make Prosecco so unique. Learning to perceive and understand the land, its distinct soil composition, exposure, altitude and microclimate, allows Enrico to highlight the different structures, minerality and characteristics of each particular vineyard.
“We know every single inch of the hills between Conegliano and Pieve di Soligo, the places that give our wines a distinctive flavor and aroma. We believe that only by intimately perceiving and understanding the land can we interpret that land, and produce a high-quality Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco – the symbol of our territory, of its aromas and flavors, but also of its history and its traditions.”
BiancaVigna produces three “Cru” Prosecco wines, produced from a single Rive, the term in local dialect to describe the steep slopes of the hills so representative of the particularities of this unique, and sometimes harsh, land. These “single vineyards” are exceptional not only for their particular terroir, but also in the notable amount of work dedicated to tending these vines (exceeding 700 hours/hectare each year!), cultivated using the terracing method to prevent erosion. “The number of hours required to work these steep hills compared to work on flat lands is immeasurable, but you’ll also be rewarded with a minerality in the glass, that when combined with our philosophy of a longer secondary fermention, yields a product that is priceless,” says Elena.
Enrico strives to bring out the singularity and beauty of the Glera grape in each wine, offering a genuine representation of this local variety. Each single row of vines is tended with care, farming the land in the fullest respect for the environment with particular attention given to the moment of the manual harvest. The approach in the vineyard is quite traditional while more modern technology is employed in the cellar, a combination that brings balance and harmony to every bubble. The greatest attention is dedicated to every moment of the production process, from the gentle pressing of the grapes, separate fermentations for each varietal and vineyard and the extended prise de mousse, a crucial moment in unique process of crafting sparkling wines in the Charmat Method. Each of these activities requires just the right amount of time, and patience, respecting the processes and timelines set by nature.
Bottling and refining takes places inside a state-of the-art, modern wine cellar, a structure built in complete balance with the landscape, in respect of the people working inside as well as the environment. “We looked for a magical place and we found it, in the Conegliano Hills in the hamlet of Ogliano. It’s a poetic place,” says Elena when talking about the winery.
BiancaVigna is one of the few Italian wineries to boast the “CasaClima Wine” certification. Indeed, the employment of eco-friendly and recycled materials in the cellar’s construction, focus on renewable sources and minimization of energy consumption (of both the structure and the entire production cycle) wholly represent Bianca Vigna’s philosophy. Elena explains, “When building a new winery, we wanted to communicate to our clients and consumers, that we have the utmost respect for Nature. We work with sustainable agriculture in the vineyards and have constructed a building that respects certain protocols: the use of eco-friendly materials, respect for the energy cycle, water and even a supply chain protocol.”
The realization of a dream, Elena and Enrico strive to highlight the unique characteristics of the distinctive Conegliano Valdobiaddene territory devoting the utmost respect to every phase of the process, offering wines of terroir with a message of history, but also the future, in the glass.