||Approximately one and a half hours’ drive east of Rome is the estate of Gaetano Lamaletto. Born in a tiny village just two and a half miles away, Lamaletto left his native land over forty years ago with his newly wed Maria, staking everything he had on a South American ceramics venture that proved to be highly profitable. In 1995, the steel-willed magnate set out to craft a range of all-Abruzzi wines in celebration of his homeland. He sought the best vineyards on the market, securing superb hillside soil at the foot of Mount Maiella and a team of professionals to match. An unrelenting perfectionist, he actively coordinated every detail of the newborn operation and to this day, he is not satisfied until all aspects of Il Feuduccio have undergone his personal scrutiny.
Il Feuduccio was founded in 1996 by Gaetano and Maria Lamaletto. They purchased a vast tract of superb hillside vineyards in the region’s premier appellation, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. The property is southerly exposed at 1,480 feet a.s.l., and sits at the food of Mount Maiella.
The winery itself is spectacular: built entirely underground, it consists of five floors that were dug into the rock. Each floor covers 16,146 square feet and the heart of operations (vinification, barrel and barrique cellars and an area reserved for bottle aging) is 46 feet beneath the vineyards. Surface under vine totals 133 acres on sandy/clayey/silty terrain. Microclimate is ideal, with very cool nights and warm days, and the vineyards are very well drained. Density is 1,800-2,050 vines per acre, yielding maximum 1.8 kilograms (3.9 pounds) per vine and an average total of 100,000 bottles yearly.
Clones were selected after painstaking soil analysis, plot per plot. All phases of the preparatory work were supervised not only by Gaetano himself, but by the Lamalettos’ eldest daughter, the very lively and lovely Laura who now follows the day-to-day business of Il Feuduccio, and whose family of six ensures the continuity of a project born to honor one’s heritage and pass it on to the generations to come.