Take a drive just beyond Rome, through the northern end of Lazio. Peel west off the A1, far from the madding crowds of Tuscany and Umbria. A sharp turn left, gravel clicks a slower pace. The narrow, winding lane etched into the Tuscia hillside ascends Vaiano, lush farmland neatly unfurled in green and gold.
Verdant bluffs give way to a dramatic limestone canvas, sheared away by time to reveal broad strokes of matted clay, glinting peperino and coppery tufo streaks rendered by an eons-old volcanic artist that created this masterpiece: The Calanchi. It is here among the Calanchi’s deep mineral cliffs and calciferous valleys where Paolo and Noemiad’Amico combine worldly sophistication with world-class wine.
It is at Villa Tirrena, the d’Amico’s 16th century estate and winery where Paolo and Noemia’s eclectic worlds meet. Behind private gates atop one of Vaiano’s highest peaks, rustic grounds burst with English hydrangeas, heady herbs, runaway wildflowers and a stunning manicured sculpture garden. The understated farmhouse gives way to a terraced, 280 degree viewing gallery for the sunset’s light show across the Calanchi geological range with the ancient and eroding village of Civita di Bagnoregiolooking on. The Calanchi is one of the richest limestone and tufa outcroppings in the world, and is a UNESCO protected geological site reminiscent of the Kimmeridgian.
A graceful blend of old world tradition and new breed techniques meet inside the d’Amico estate’s tufa-carved cellars. Winemaker Guillaume Gelly oversees both growth and production of the 90-hectare estate, with 21 hectares planted primarily across the Calanchi and into the gentle, rolling hills of Umbria, Lazio and Southern Tuscany. Biodynamic and organic farming practices assure the unique terroir of the area shines through in Gelly’s stunning wines.
“We were curious about D’Amico when we heard that they play Pavarotti to their wines during vinification! They also place art sculptures throughout their vineyards, and their cantina and production areas are lit with chandeliers and candles. This commitment to art and beauty is reflected in their wines – the wines are works of art!”
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