The Vineyards and the Vegetable Garden

VALLE REALE is a farm consisting of vineyards and vegetable gardens, where mountain agriculture is practiced daily, always with respect for the delicate natural balance that surrounds it and the traditions of this area of Abruzzo. The vineyards grow along a plain that is 350 m above sea level, facing southeast to enjoy the rays of the sun that rises over the Majella and the Morrone Mountains. The vineyards thrive, nestled amidst the mountains that form a sort of amphitheatre around them. There are two adjacent towns: Popoli (PE), situated at the beginning of the Peligna Valley, and Capestrano (AQ), overlooking the Plain of Ofena.

The total of 46 hectares are certified organic for more than half of the surface area, while the remaining area is undergoing conversion to organic methods. The vineyards are subdivided into parcels, each marked by a specific cru and identified by names linked to the history of these places that, thanks to their peculiar soil and climatic conditions, paint the highly unique profiles of Valle Reale wines.

The microclimate here has mountainous traits and is connoted by an element capable of making a crucial impact on the cultivation of the grapes: day-to-night temperature changes. At night, during both the summer and winter months, the temperatures drop due to air currents that descend from the Gran Sasso, while during the day the southeastern exposure of the vineyards ensures constant heating of the air. Thanks to these considerable variations in temperature, the grapes conserve their fragrance and freshness during the ripening phase.

The soils of the vineyards located in both towns are very similar: poor and pebbly, with small to mid-sized stones. Instead, the micro-climatic characteristics of the two valleys differ considerably. Indeed, the vineyards of Popoli are constantly subjected to cold air currents that ensure aeration and low humidity during the ripening phase. This is an extremely slow process and does not reach its ultimate degree of perfection until the beginning of November. Instead, the vineyards of Capestrano are overlooking the Plain of Ofena, also known as “the oven of Abruzzo" – a zone where summer temperatures can be much higher than those of the surrounding towns. Hence, the various growth stages of the plants are accelerated, meaning that ripening may be completed as much as two or three weeks before the vineyards of Popoli, depending on the vintage. Even the environmental contexts where the vineyards are located differ, from the oak and pine forests of the upland of Popoli to the dominant presence of aquatic plants in Capestrano, which together with a wide variety of spontaneous herbs, proliferate around the sources of the Tirino River, one of which is near the vineyards.