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 by Angelo Monaldeschi della Vipera whose family arrived in Italy in the IX century following Charlemagne’s troops. The 1300’s marked the beginning of a long series of conflicts between family members in order to gain control over Orvieto. In 1437 Gentile, grandson of Angelo dei Monaldeschi della Vipera, gained control of the city and reigned as dictator for over a decade. Following Gentile’s death in 1466, a peaceful period started at the castle, culminating with the reconciliatory marriage of Gentile’s son, Pietro Antonio della Vipera, and his cousin Giovanna Monaldeschi della Cervara.
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. The region is exceptional for producing white varieties with one exception, Pinot Noir, that has found ideal conditions in this terroir to best express its full potential. The vines grow in clay and calcareous based soils, rich in fossil shells, and they are well exposed to the rising of the sun with an excellent difference of temperature between day and night.
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. Part of Cervaro della Sala and Pinot Nero della Sala still ages 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.