La Quercia

Abruzzo - Italy

The Winery

A “true blue,” grizzled farmer-type, winemaker Antonio Lamona is both utterly likeable and totally invested in his wines. Although his father also grew grapes, Antonio is the first in the family to bottle his own and, beginning in the late sixties, began cultivating vines that are entirely organic. As Antonio says, “I would rather forgo an entire vintage than put man-made pesticides in my soil.” Located just 3 km uphill from the Adriatic and a morning’s drive from the 9,000-foot Gran Sasso, Antonio’s farm is entirely self-sustaining: they produce their own salami, bread, vegetables, olive oil, and cheese. True, you won’t find a “discoteca” within a hundred miles of the place, but in terms of sheer, natural beauty and down-to-earth hospitality, there’s no better place to see.

One of La Quercia’s most remarkable qualities is their consistency. Regardless of what may be happening elsewhere in Italy, Antonio’s estate remains steadfast in terms of both style and quality from one vintage to the next. This, in part, is thanks to their unique location. The town of Morro d’Oro, in the small, coastal province of Teramo, is protected on one side by the Adriatic Sea (constant breezes ensure they have virtually no mold or pest issues), and on its flank by the Apennine Mountains. These natural barriers form a beautiful “pocket” with 300 days of sun per year and comparatively few climate variations. In addition, the Colli Apruntini IGP is actually analogous with the Colline Teramane (‘Hills of Teramo’) DOCG, meaning that La Quercia’s everyday vines are grown alongside some of the very best in Abruzzo.

With 46 non-contiguous hectares spread about town, La Quercia is a touch larger than most estates in the Small Vineyards portfolio – but they still embody the spirit of our company from stem to stern. One reason is that, when it comes to picking by hand and personally escorting the wines from soil to bottle, Antonio is far from alone. While he remains the winemaker and enologist, ownership of La Quercia is shared with three of his lifelong friends - Elisabetta Di Berardino, Fabio Pedicone and Luca Moretti. So, when it comes to “all hands on deck”, La Quercia has four families lending assistance!

Enologist
Antonio Lamona
Grapes Grown by Winery
Aglianico, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Montonico, Pecorino, Sangiovese
Vineyard Size
46.0 ha
Winemaker
Antonio Lamona
Winemaker Biography
Having started as an enologist in both Puglia and Abruzzo, Antonio Lamona today channels all his energies and expertise into La Quercia. Together with three lifelong friends, he oversees this gorgeous, rustic estate in the tiny Adriatic town where sea, sun and wind abound.
Winemaker Generation
2nd
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Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG Riserva

Over the last decade, La Quercia has quietly emerged as one of the most important qualitative wineries in Abruzzo. Antonio Lamona's (non-certified) organic, old-vine, low-yield recipe offers exceptional wines every year. Enter the estate's flagship Montepulciano, the Colline Teramane DOCG Riserva. Made from 50 year-old vines and aged for two years, this is an enophile's delight. With notes of cocoa, rhubarb, blackberry and herbs, it has a classic, yet lush mouthfeel. Arguably the estate's best-ever wine.

Color
Dark garnet with amber highlights
Nose
Dark plum with layers of cedar, licorice, and morello cherry
Palate
Powerful structure with dark fruit, smoke, and sweet spice
Finish
Full coating, strutured, long finish
Vineyard Location
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Terramane DOCG, Abruzzo
Vineyard Size
4 ha
Varietals List
100% Montepulciano
Farming Practices
Organically farmed (non-certified), including dry-farmed; grapes picked by hand
Elevation
210 m
Soils
Medio impasto and argilloso (clay)
Maturation Summary
In Slovenian casks barrels for 24 months, in Steel 36 months and bottled 12 months
In Steel
36 months
Alcohol
15.0 %
Acidity
6.72 g/liter
Annual Production
5,000 bottles

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo D.O.C.

This Montepulciano is a great example of what can happen when you match low-yield expertise with a prolific varietal, and constantly cut, cut, cut back the vines. With ripe, dark plum and a hint of smoke, this stunning affordable from Abruzzo is a true crowd pleaser. Farmed organically and picked by hand, it takes zero shortcuts. “A round, medium-bodied red, with delicate dried thyme and spiced orange peel accents to the creamed black cherry and mocha notes. Lightly juicy and smoke-tinged on the finish.” - Wine Spectator

Color
Deep red with purple hues
Nose
Dark plum, earth, and a hint of smoke
Palate
Medium-bodied, with ripe, dark fruit and fresh herbs
Finish
Well-balanced, slightly dry
Vineyard Location
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, Abruzzo
Vineyard Size
11 ha
Varietals List
100% Montepulciano
Farming Practices
Organically farmed (non-certified), including dry-farmed; grapes picked by hand
Elevation
210 m
Soils
Medio impasto and argilloso (clay)
Maturation Summary
In Steel for 6 months and Bottled for 6 months
In Steel
6 months
Alcohol
13.0 %
Acidity
5.8 g/liter
Residual Sugar
6.5 g/liter
Annual Production
150,000 bottles

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva DOC

Antonio Lamona is the most humble rock-star we know. His basic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a staple of our portfolio, and we sell out our allocation of his Riserva every year. Aged in 50 hl Slavonian oak for 12 months, and an additional year in steel, the wine exudes wonderful character from the 40 year-old vines. Grown in the classic “tendone” (or tent) style, the plantings are pruned to produce about 2/3 of a bottle per plant (very low yields!). Not to be missed.

Color
Intense red with violet hues
Nose
Dark plum and cherry, layered with earth spice and smoke
Palate
Full-bodied and ripe, with sweet, integrated tannins
Finish
Bright and bold, with staying power
Vineyard Location
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, Abruzzo
Vineyard Size
4 ha
Varietals List
100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Farming Practices
Organically farmed (non-certified), including dry-farmed; grapes picked by hand
Elevation
210 m
Soils
Medium rich clay
Maturation Summary
In Large Slovenian barrels barrels for 12 months and bottled for 12 months
Alcohol
14.0 %
Acidity
4.9 g/liter
Residual Sugar
1.2 g/liter
Annual Production
10,800 bottles