A relative up-and-comer, Musella are showing just how much life there is outside of the Classica area, and how the newer kids on the block care just as much as the old guard for the quality of their products and the sustainability of their environment. Right in the south-east corner of Valpolicella Allargata, closer indeed to the village of Soave than Negrar or San Pietro in Cariano, Emilio Pasqua Di Bisceglie and his daughter Maddalena have for two decades led an operation to create distinctive wines which taste of the land they care for.
Their vineland is divided into three distinct hills planted first back in 1996: Perlar, known for its distinctive terrarossa soil; Palazzina, which mixes terrarossa with tufaceous soils; and Monte del Drago, where the soil is mix of tufaceous and clay elements, and which uniquely grows white as well as red grape varieties. The vines on these hills are farmed biodynamically, which is to say according to an updated version of ideas first devised by Rudolf Steiner in the early twentieth century. These ideas, which have also have applications in other fields like education, are used in agriculture to keep the production in balance with nature, which in our days have obvious advantages with respect to environmental sustainability. This is expressed in many ways, from not using pesticides (utilising instead an ingenious system whereby a system of plants attract insects which hunt pests) to planning the growing season according to lunar cycles.
Some aspects of biodynamics remain controversial. However, there is no denying the passion and dedication many of its practitioners bring to their winemaking, and Musella are the epitome of this. In everything they produce, care for the land, for its prosperity and its future, shine through. If ever we needed a reminder of what there is in Valpolicella Allargata, that new winemakers have as much concern for the environment as the older families, and that great wine is made in every corner of the land, Musella thoroughly prove all of this.