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Balìa di Zola is situated in Modigliana, a picturesque town and valley in the Romagna area, the southern part of the Emilia-Romagna region. For many years the Tuscans have been at the forefront of Sangiovese production, but just across the regional border, nestled in the foothills of the Apennines, Modigliana produce beautiful expressions of this noble grape variety. Sangiovese di Romagna is one of Italy’s best kept secrets, but thanks to producers such as Balìa di Zola who tirelessly work to preserve and promote their regional heritage, this underrated gem is flourishing.

In 1999, Claudio Fiore and Veruska Eluci, husband and wife, purchased a small 17th century farmhouse in Modigliana, sitting scenically amid vineyard land, olive groves, and surrounded by woodland. The property came with three hectares of 40-year-old vines, that required extensive work, but the Fiore family made it their mission to revive these vineyards and expand upon their holdings by planting a further three hectares. Sangiovese is very much their focus and passion, with a strong belief in its ability to measure up to its relatives to the West, they have made it their goal to improve its reputation. A combination of altitude, soil composition, climate, and proximity to woodland, make up the distinguishing factors. Situated higher up in the Apennines, the vineyards are influenced by a more Mediterranean climate, with marl, sandstone, and a touch of limestone in the soil composition. The landscape here remains largely unspoiled, boasting remarkable biodiversity with 80% woodland and just small pockets of vineyards and olive groves.

Modigliana Sangiovese presents itself with purity of fruit, highlighted by vibrant red cherry notes, offering approachability, but without losing that layered quality we seek in Sangiovese. Three wines make up the Balìa di Zola range; Balitore and Redinoce which are both 100% Sangiovese, and Isola which is 100% Albana, another native variety. Although relatively unknown outside of Italy, Albana di Romagna was actually the first white wine to be promoted to DOCG status, in 1987. Balìa di Zola's interpretation of Albana is dry, light, and refreshing, featuring crisp citrus fruit, enticing apricot flavors, and delicate floral nuances in the finish.

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