In total Tenuta Chevalier constists of about 10 hectares of property. This is split between two different small properties located in two of the principle valleys of the Valpolicella. The reason for this is to be able to utilize grapes from different parts of the region to help create unique and balanced wines.
For example, the small property near the town of Marano provide elegance to Amarone, while those coming from Negrar instead provide more power. This comes down, of course to the soil the wine is planted in. The property in Negrar is located at about 450 meters and vines are planted in a heavy clay. This property is gorgeous and provides for a fantastic view of the valley below and Verona in the distance. It is East/West facing, is well ventilated and is exposed to the sun for most of the day. Vines here are an average of 60 years old, most of which are actually still planted on native rootstock! This is quite a rare occurrence as other pages on this website will tell you. The size of this property is 4 hecatres.
In the town of Marano Paolo owns 6 hectares. The vines are located at 300 meters. Here you find clay but also some limestone. This gives more elegance and salinity to the wines here. The vines here are about 40 years old. The important thing to note is that neither site is located in a valley, thus is constantly kissed by the sun and lovely breezes. This is important to note as generally a wine produced from vines in the valleys of the Valpolicella will be less interesting and lack balance.
The vines on both properties are trained in a system called “inclined open pergoletta,” with rows forming an open canopy to help bring grapes to a perfect maturity. Particularly in hilly areas (where you will find these vineyards) Paolo feels that this is the best way to control maturity in what can be a very warm climate despite the benefit of elevation.
Paolo uses a “natural fertilizer” planting alternate rows of local plant life every year. He weeds constantly to be sure his vines are getting the right amount of water and treats vines with natural remedies like copper and sulfur.
On average Tenuta Chevalier plants close to 4,000 plants per hectare. Yield are in the vicinity of 90 tons per acre, with even more selection for the Amarone. This is a small farm, who produce close to 20,000 bottles while selling off about half of their grapes to other wineries. They have the capacity to produce close to 80,000 bottles with the land they own.
Lastly, Paolo has three “huts” for drying the grapes destined for Amarone. None of this process is artificial as he leaves the windows open at each location and lets nature do the work. This is “old school” Amarone production as many have reverted to machines that help dry the grapes in a more controlled environment.