Azienda Agricola Valentini
Widely regarded as Abruzzo’s greatest winemaker, Edoardo Valentini produced wine commercially from the 1956 vintage until his death in 2006 at age 72. During that half-century his renown among fans of fine Italian wines grew as bottles of his Montepulciano, Cerasuolo and Trebbiano found their way onto tables and into tastings all over the world. His unique approach to handling vines that were thought inferior by many in the wine community combined with his eccentric personality caused his legend to grow but it was the excellence in bottle that really solidified his reputation as one of Italy’s great craftsmen of natural wines.
Giving up a career in law, Valentini returned with his family to their ancestral home in the village of Loreto Aprutino, about a half hour inland from Pescara. He tended about 60 hectare of land under vines spread across several vineyard sites as well as hundreds of acres planted with fruit trees and olives. While farming made up a good part of his living, life in a rural village also allowed him to count agriculture and winemaking among his intellectual pursuits. He was famously reluctant to advise visitors on his techniques in the cellar but we do know through the consistent quality of his wines across the decades that whatever those methods were he practiced them with discipline and expected excellence in quality and style.
Valentini became notorious for his shunning of the media and disregard for wine marketing. Consequently, what little information we can glean about the man and his wines only serves to enhance the mystique surrounding both. Since Edoardo Valentini’s passing his son Francesco Paolo, assisted by his wife Elèna, and his son Gabriele, has carried on the production of the family’s much-admired line of Abruzzese wines with fidelity and rigor. It is evident in tasting that the Valentini legacy remains strong and will be well tended.