The unswerving dedication of the Gallo family to vineyards and wines, dating back over a century, is rooted in the labour and determination of family members such as Basilio, Stelio, Gianfranco and their relatives.
Gianfranco, who has managed the estate since 1978, introduced radical and far-reaching
viticultural programmes and has devoted painstaking attention to winemaking practices; these initiatives have given the stamp of unique personality to the wines of Vie di Romans over the last 20 years.
There were a number of important steps in this historic process. 1978 saw the first bottling and label on the market, followed by vineyard reorganization aiming at improving quality in 1982; in 1989 the new three-storey winery building was erected. Wines from distinct vineyards were produced separately beginning in 1990, and in 1992, with the release of the 1990 vintage, the custom was established of releasing all whites a full two years after harvest.
An in-depth understanding of all the factors underlying a specific sensory experience is of course the goal of anyone who strives for a deeper appreciation of the fruit of the winemaker's art. The production of outstanding grapes and wines is linked to a broad range of factors, but considering these in a cursory manner will not reveal the intimate character of a winemaking enterprise: instead of simply co-relating good quality with terroir or with winemaking practices, one must attempt to trace the synergy of agents which interact to produce that wine. In the following pages, then, we intend to consider only those factors which contribute the most to defining the character of Vie di Romans' wines; they fall into three categories: environment, viticulture, and man.
- Environment - Everything encompassed by climate and soil.
- Viticulture - All of the options deliberately selected to ensure an efficiently managed vineyard.
- Man - The central node of the entire winemaking endeavor.
Through an intimate awareness of the environment, man is enabled to take the first step in orchestrating the tools of viticulture towards a specific goal. Man thus positions himself at the heart of the process, discovering his role both as creator and as part of a world far larger than himself, one which ultimately recedes into mystery. The interface, the dialogue, of man and land, of man and the articulated language of the created world, spins out of itself something novel and different, uniquely complex and wondrous.
The preceding environment description provided an overall picture of climate and soils, but in fact each separate vineyard has its own distinct character, the fruit of discrete microclimates and soils.
We consider these characteristics a valuable patrimony, for they allow us not only to coax out the particular traits of each grape variety but also those complex sensory nuances born from the interaction of those same precise and inimitable environmental characteristics.
Since it is our goal to produce wines that convey that complexity, that uniqueness of origin, Vie di Romans places on the wine-label both the grape variety and the vineyard name.
The vineyard names we use derive from local landsurvey maps and from traditional local place-names.
The development of our vineyards has been carried out in accord with a re-vitalization plan begun in 1982, and for many years now the quest for uncompromising quality has driven every viticultural decision.
That has led to high-density planting, low-yields, careful canopy management, and other practices.
Still, the quality we search for is not the result simply of the application of a number of standard procedures; it is rather discovering the growth balance unique to, and required by, each vineyard.
The experience we gain in the field and through careful observation allows us to research and then apply new vineyard practices which push forward constantly towards new frontiers of quality.