Food + Wine

Drink Globally

by Adam Skolnick


The Place: Valtellina, Italy

The Poison: A dry red from Nebbiolo grapes, grown on the steep slopes of the Orobie Alps. Spicy!

The Buzz: Sure, Italy is full of wine regions—and the tourists who crowd them. Think further afield than Tuscany or Piedmont: Leonardo da Vinci described this off-the-GPS region in the north of Italy as a "valley surrounded by tall and terrible mountains…that makes powerful wines." Located 60 miles east of Lake Como, the village sits in a deep gorge formed by the mountain ranges that border Switzerland. Vineyards themselves are carved into the hillsides; laborers nimbly pick their way among the rocky slopes and stash fruit into funnel-shaped baskets they wear on their backs.

Down the Hatch: Most of the wineries in the Valtellina are in and around the town of Sondrio. We suggest checking out Conti Sertoli Salis, a 150-year-old winery that occupies a 17th-century palazzo (the cellar is pictured). It's located in Tirano, a 30-minute drive from Sondrio.

Sleep It Off: The people of Sondrio make their way past the Albergo della Posta every evening during the traditional passeggiata, as the hotel is located smack-dab on the Piazza Garibaldi. An elegant old building from the mid-1800s, it has 40 rather spartan rooms, the bright and traditional L'American Bar, and the Sozzani restaurant, filled with local families.

Drink at Home: Canua Sforzato is the Conte Sertoli Salis winery's best bottle and runs between $50 and $75, depending on the vintage.

Conte Sertoli Salis
Tel: 39 0342 710 404

Albergo della Posta
Tel: 39 0342 510 404
Doubles from $125

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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