Between vines of Negroamaro and Susumaniello grow wild asparagus, fennel, chicory, mallow and chamomile. The beguiling fragrance blends with the salty sea breeze. The Adriatic coast is just one kilometre from the Vigna Castello vineyard. In the hinterland, the massive tower of Castello Serranova rises from dense olive groves. We are in the middle of Vallone country.
Azienda Flaminio near Brindisi, Iore in San Pancrazio Salentino and Vigna Castello near Serranova - from these three estates with melodious names Vallone's excellent wines of the DOC Salice Salentino, Igt Salento, DOC Brindisi and the top wine Graticciaia are produced. In addition, the finest olive oil is produced here. The ferruginous soil also produces extremely aromatic tomatoes and artichokes. The sisters Vittoria and Maria Teresa Vallone, managing director Dottore Lazzari and oenologist Graziana Grassini welcome us to the enchanting Castello Serranova. One senses that these four personalities are in excellent harmony. The fortified estate with its fortified tower and chapel once provided protection against Saracen raids. Today, this typical masseria has an indescribably peaceful atmosphere. Birds chirp, red bougainvillea cover the walls, lemon trees grow in the castle garden. The view extends over vast olive groves and the vineyard Vigna Castello down to the sea. On the terrace, reed mats are laid out during harvest time. Vallone leaves hand-picked grapes from the Azienda Flaminio on these mats.Sun drying. No effort is spared in the production of Graticciaia, which has won several awards.
"Viticulture was foreign to me and my sister. Fortunately, we could always count on excellent employees. And Dottore Lazzari has always been faithfully at our side."
Maria Teresia, Vallone
The special microclimate of Serranova gives the wine a special touch. The purebred Negroamaro has long been one of Italy's best-known top wines. The charming hostesses invite you to a snack in the stylishly furnished
in the stylishly furnished rooms of the castle. We toast with a glass of Vigna Castello, accompanied by extremely tasty, light appetizers. The ruby red wine reflects the wonderful scents, the warmth, the light and the enchanting landscape of the nearby vineyard.
Vittoria and Maria Teresia tell how they took over the management of Vallone because their brother died much too young through a tragic stroke of fate. Maria Teresia was studying architecture at the time. "I knew something about that. Viticulture, however, was foreign to me and my sister. Fortunately, we could always count on excellent employees. And Dottore Lazzari was always faithfully at our side." The agronomist has been running Vallone's business for decades. He and the two sisters form a family team. For some years now, the renowned oenologist Graziana Grassini has also been part of it. Three women, one man. Not a problem for Lazzari?
"Not at all. I appreciate being able to work with the charming ladies. Since I'm the cock of the walk, I get spoiled accordingly." The likeable manager laughs happily. In general, there is a lot of laughter this afternoon. Vallone is not just any producer. Behind it are four extremely warm-hearted people. They regard their wines as a precious gift entrusted to them by the ocher-colored earth of Puglia.