La Sabbiona sits on 28 total hectares of property, 15 of which is planted to vine. This property was purchased by Mauro’s parents, Sebastiano and Maria Serena, with the intention of producing wine and also running an agritourism/restaurant.
The agritourism accommodates close to 20 people and the restaurant is open all summer long. It is a favorite of locals in Faenza and other cities in Emilia Romagna. I’m amazed that the Altini’s are able to manage both businesses, and they do so with great pride and diligence!
When the Altini family purchased the property, Centesimino was already planted. About 10 years ago Mauro decided to plant about 2 hectares of Famoso. Beyond these two grapes, much of the vineyard is planted to Sangiovese, which is very famous in this part of Emilia Romagna. Merely miles from the border with Tuscany, it is a point of contention between the two regions over the true birthplace of Italy’s most famous grape varietal. There are plenty who believe that Sangiovese is most at home in the hills of Romagna.
The reference point of the entire region is the pictured Tower of Oriolo, located on the hilltop just above La Sabbiona. The vineyard forms a bowl like shape below the tower, wistfully making its way down the softly rolling hills that surround the agrotourism. Vines reach no higher than 150 meters, with most of the white planted around 80 meters towards the bottom of the hill. The reds in particular benefit from constant sunlight throughout the day, particularly those positioned at the hilltop. In general, these are south facing vineyards.
Vine density is around 3,400 plants per hectare, with average yields in the neighborhood of 80 tons per hectare. La Sabbiona is not certified organic, but Mauro, along with the help of a few trusted workers (pictured), work diligently to limit the use of any chemicals and produce terroir driven wines.