Owner: Maddalena Pasqua di Bisceglie and family. Her father Emilio, who was already involved in the wine business, started the project in 1995 as he wanted to become a winegrower. At that time Maddalena, who was studying contemporary history was around 23 years old.
The estate: 500ha of land, surrounded by forest.
Vineyards: 2017 37ha of vines. Monte del Drago Exposition: West. Soil: Tuff with white clay. Guyot. Grapes: Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Oseleta (local red grapes) Merlot, Pinot Bianco, Garganega. Palazzina 9 ha. West-facing. Tuff with red clay. 6,500 vines/ha. Guyot. Grapes: Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Barbera, Sirah and Oseleta. Perlar 7ha. West – South. Mainly red clay. 6,500 vines/ha. Guyot. Grapes: Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera and Croatina.
Biodiversity: Maddalena recreated a local custom which was to plant cherry trees in the vines. This encourages birds who can also find more worms and insects. Cover crops were used to get air into the soil. In her words ‘you can survive for weeks without food, days without water, but for only a few seconds without air. With more air the wild herbs could sprout.’ She also has chickens and donkeys. Cow manure for compost is sourced from a local farmer. He also supplies milk. The milk is used as a spray for its bacteria to combat down mildew (peronospera) and powdery mildew (‘oidium’). The milk is sprayed at 10 litres per hectare. Maddalena cannot have bees as she would suffer an anaphylactic shock if stung. She started with 3 hectares of vines as a trial as her family were not 100% convinced that her alternative methods would work.
Valpolicella DOC, Musella
Valpolicella DOC Superiore: 2016 Concrete and stainless steel tanks. Clear, clean, fluid (Demeter Austria tasting 2018).
Amarone dell Valpolicella DOC:
Azienda Agricola Musella S.S.
Via Ferrazzette, 2
37036 San Martino Buon Albergo (VR), Italy
Tel+39 045 973385 | Website: www.musella.it/en
Christopher Barnes, ‘Uncovering the Natural Beauty of Valpolicella: Maddalena Pasqua di Bisceglie of Musella‘, GrapeCollective.com (published 7 Aug 2021).