The first vineyards of the winery were planted between 1960 and 1965. At that time, Francesco Parrilla was a member of the cooperative that sold grapes to other local vineyards, but he always kept reserves of unbottled wine. In 2004, the family decided to begin bottling all of their harves.
To increase the presence of nitrogen in the earth, leguminous plants are buried during the flowering of the certified organic vineyards. The more fertile lands are allowed to be covered by the natural growing grass, periodically cut in order to naturally regulate the vitality of the vineyards. No fertilizers of any kind, organic and not, are used and only sulfur and copper are used for any anti-parasite treatments.
After careful observation and tasting of the grapes, the harvest is carried out between the second half of September and the beginning of October. The health of the grapes, the maturity of the grape seeds and the overall harmony of the grape bunch is closely evaluated in order to decide the best moment for the harvest.
The attention paid to the land and the desire to bring out the characteristics of the territory have always been the inspiration of the Tenuta del Conte winemaking tradition.
The Gaglioppo variety is the most common in Cirò and in all of Calabria. It is vigorous and high producing. The name comes from the Greek, meaning “beautiful foot” describing the rachis, or spinal column of the vine, and the grape bunch. The latter are usually cone- or pyramid-shaped, compact and range from medium to large.
The reddish-black grapes are round or oval, consistent, pruionse, with average peel thickness. The Gaglioppo is late maturing – the harvest is carried out in the last week of September or the first week of October. It reaches a good balance of sugar maturity and acidity, with a considerable presence of tannins.
The color of the wine isn’t particularly intense; in the early years it is ruby red and with age it develops brick red highlights.
The Greco Bianco was originally planted in the Gaglioppo vineyards, and was harvested and transformed together in order to soften its harsher characteristics.
It is resistant and productive, and the wines reach good level of alcohol production and discrete acidity. The Greco Bianco is not as widespread as the Gaglioppo. Its bunches are cylindrical, rather short with one or two “wings” and ranging from average to large. The yellow-gold grapes are average-sized with a thick and low pruinose peel. The vineyards usually mature around mid-September, though the quality of the peel would allow for later harvesting.
South-East vineyard row orientation | red clay soil/containing iron | gaglioppo | pruned-spur cordon-trained vines
South-East vineyard row orientation | chalky clay soil | gaglioppo | transformed head-trained vines
South-West vineyard row orientation | chalky-sandy clay soil | gaglioppo | pruned-spur cordon-trained vines
East-West vineyard row orientation | white clay soil | gaglioppo and greco bianco | pruned-spur cordon-trained vines