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The Torre Zambra estate lies on the first plot cultivated by the family from 1910 onwards and is one of the most historic cellars in Abruzzo, founded by Laurentino De Cerchio in 1961, then taken to higher levels by his son Riccardo in subsequent years. The family chose Villamagna as a place to cultivate vines in Abruzzo for characteristics that are unique in the region. The Villamagna district has a centuries-old tradition in winegrowing, reflected in its name (‘villa magna’ in Latin means ‘large farm’), and has always been considered the most suitable for Montepulciano grape cultivation. Its hills vaunt a rare microclimate that makes them some of the world’s top wine country. The proximity of the sea and the mountains creates swift day–night and seasonal temperature changes that are the secret behind the truly fragrant white wines and the complex, extremely cellarable reds.
The winery vineyards are located in the hills with perfect south-east aspecting at 120–200 metres (400-650 feet) altitude. Soils are clay and limestone, rich in humus and nutrients. In Villamagna, the De Cerchio Family grows its Pecorino, Passerina and Trebbiano varieties but Montepulciano is the monarch. In 2011 Villamagna was awarded Designation of Origin and is one of the smallest DOC districts in the world. This tiny area of 85 selected hectares produces a wine named Villamagna DOC from Montepulciano grapes and is considered the supreme quality expression of this great native variety of central Italy.
Growing environmental awareness persuaded the family to adopt organic winegrowing practices throughout its estates. Respect for natural cycles, non-invasive growing techniques and work in the rows that is attentive to showcasing the native and authenticity traits of each district have been at the forefront of the De Cerchio family philosophy over the years.
The De Cerchio family has always embraced the philosophy of spontaneous fermentation. This winemaking method is the proof that work begins among the vines, where targeted cultivation techniques go a long way to ensuring generous amounts of ambient yeasts reach the cellar, where they engage in a natural transformation process. Consequently, a natural selection of several strains endow wines with an authentic, rich aromatic legacy. The family is committed to this production approach and each bottle of its wine offers only the bounty of Mother Nature. Hence the wines are complex, the purest expression of their place of origin, able to inspire the most distinctive sensations.