Castello della Sala is located in Umbria, a short distance from the Tuscan border, about 18 kilometers from the historic city of Orvieto. Castello della Sala, a magnificent medieval manor with 500 hectares (1236 acres) of land 170 (420 acres) of which are planted with vineyards, is located halfway between the Paglia river and the summit of Monte Nibbio.
Castello della Sala was built in 1350 for Angelo Monaldeschi della Vipera, whose family arrived in Italy following Charlemagne’s arrival in the ninth century. During the 1300’s, members of the family contended for control of Orvieto and finally succeeded in 1437. Gentile, son of Piero Antonio Monaldeschi della Vipera della Sala came to power and was dictator of the city for about a decade. In 1940, Marquis Niccolò Antinori (father of the current honorary president Piero Antinori) decided to produce white wines and turned his attention to Umbria and in particular to Castello della Sala. Niccolò restored part of the castle and renovated the formal reception hall and some of the castle’s rooms.
The estate’s 170 hectares (420 acres) of vineyards are located at an altitude of 220 - 470 meters above sea level (722-1542 feet) and are planted with traditional varieties such as Procanico and Grechetto but also with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sèmillon, Pinot Blanc, Viognier and a small quantity of Traminer and Riesling.
In summer of 1979, 25-year-old agronomist Renzo Cotarella joined Castello della Sala. Work began immediately on an ambitious project: to make a white wine able to age and improve over time. He began experimenting with Chardonnay and studying the interesting qualities of Grechetto, a variety able to give the wine flavors and aromas characteristic of the territory and typicity, or all the distinctive traits of the wine’s varietal and geographic provenance. His pursuit to make a wine that stood out for its character and personality became an obsession. After several disappointing years of trial and error, the 1985 vintage produced the first true Cervaro della Sala: one of the first Italian wines that underwent malolactic fermentation and aging in barriques.
The modern concept of a wine cellar, a structure designed to enhance the freshness and aromas of the grapes and to guarantee uncompromising quality standards, works in perfect harmony with the historic aging cellar that dates back to the XVI century located under Castello della Sala’s medieval fortress. Cervaro della Sala and Pinot Nero are aged in French oak barriques under the castle’s monumental walls that naturally maintain constant humidity and temperature levels.
A remarkable territorial identity through indigenous and untraditional varieties. Each wine is a contemporary expression of an ancient land.