Podere Sottoilnoce

Year Established: 2016
Location: Castelvetro di Modena, Emilia Romagna, Italy
Size: 14 hectares
Varieties: Trebbiano di Modena, Trebbiano di Spagna, Lambrusco Grasparossa, Sorbara
Viticulture: Biodynamic. Hand harvested and hand sorted
Vinification: Indigenous yeasts, low or no sulfur additions

Max Brondolo began his second career as a winemaker in the mid 2010s, buying various plots over several years to grow his estate to its current size of approximately 14 hectares. Max has been farming biodynamically since the beginning, and is committed to biodiversity –  only half of the land is planted to vines; the rest is left to meadows filled with wildflowers and butterflies. Many of his vineyards are bordered by old mulberry trees, the habitat of the silkworms that once produced the region’s famous silk. Beside some of his oldest vines sits the majestic walnut tree for which the estate is named – “sotto il noce” means “under the walnut tree”.
Reviving local and almost forgotten varieties is a main focus – the Confine vineyard is a mix of several of these, including Uva Tosca, Trebbiano Toscana, Trebbiano Spolentino and Fortana, to mention a few. Additionally he grows three types of Lambrusco grapes – Grasparossa, Fioranese, and Sorbara. All grapes are vinified separately with minimal intervention prior to Max’s determination of what will go into each assemblage for that particular vintage. Minimal sulfur (no more than 15 mg/l) is added after first fermentation. The sparkling wines are made in the col fondo tradition – secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle after the addition of frozen must from the prior vintage (no added yeast), and there is no disgorgement. He also makes two still wines – Funambol, a white made from 100% Trebbiano Espagna, and Franzes, a still red Lambrusco Grasparossa (not made every year).