The Tenuta Le Velette Estate
The hill on which the Le Velette estate is situated, to the east of the rock on which stands Orvieto, has always been a point of great agricultural and strategic interest in the course of its three thousand year history. The position, controlling a good part of the valley of Orvieto, the volcanic terrain exposed to the sun from dawn till dusk, and the special microclimate with significant thermal swings between night and day have always been its good fortune.
The first to see its great wine-growing potential were the Etruscans, the people who had already in the 7th century B.C. imported the vine from the Greeks. They certainly used the hill as a rural settlement for its cultivation and dug grottoes in the tufo rock, (just as we still do today), which offered excellent conditions for wine conservation. During Roman times, the hillside kept its wine-making role but developed significantly also as a strategic check point: right in the middle of the present estate, where Villa Felici stands today, a control tower was built and a resting-place for travellers, which led to significant development in the area.
After a difficult period of barbarian and Longobard invasions, the area regained great importance as papal state land. In this period the Etruscan grottoes were extended and became a safe refuge and place of worship for the first monks who settled there soon after.
With the advent of feudalism, the area passed into the hands of the Negroni counts, feudal lords of a nearby village, preserving its wine-making function for centuries before being given in endowment to a monastic order by a descendent who had become an abbot.
At the unification of Italy everything went to the city of Orvieto, which sold the estate to the Felici family. And so began the first experimentations in the vineyard and the cellar which led in very few years to the production of excellent wines, as is testified by the medals won in that period in Roman oenological competitions. The estate's wine went into commerce in the new-born Italy.
The fundamental step towards modern viticulture and oenology was taken in the 1950s when the brilliant Tuscan agronomist, Marcello Bottai, and his wife Giulia, a descendent of the Felici family, chose to make the estate their home and life project. This was the start of a period of development geared to a proper appreciation of the full potential not only of the firm but also of the whole district. The production of high quality wines was established along with the setting up of systems for the development and protection of Orvieto viticulture. A fundamental move was the foundation with other producers of what would become the present consortium for the safeguard of Orvieto wines. An absolutely innovative vision for the times that the young couple not only had had the wit to conceive but which they also had the courage and determination to bring into existence.
The Tenuta Le Velette Vineyard
They carefully and selectively harvest from their own 90 hectares (222 acres) of vineyards. The excellent exposure provides all day sun and the rich tufaceous soil is of volcanic origin.
Velette Orvieto Amabile is made from 30% Trebbiano, 30% Grechetto, 20% Malvasia, 15% Verdello and 5% Drupeggio.A brilliant and pale straw color with golden reflections. The bouquet is complex and filled with ripe fruit and subtle spiciness. The palate is rich in flavor with a beguiling roundness and a subtle hint of spiciness. The finish is refreshingly fruity and not sweet or cloying.
Origin of the name: The first evidence of a society given to cultivating the grape on these hills is of Etruscan origin and the wine produced was most likely sweet. Hence a method and a tradition which have made the fortune of these lands for centuries. The word the Etruscans used for their people was precisely "Rasenna".
Pairs with seafood, fresh and aged cheeses, spicy dishes such as Thai or Shezchuan. Soft and semi-matured cheeses. Very good as a dessert wine especially with fruit tarts and the traditional crunchy biscuits and cakes.
Velette Orvieto Secco is made from 30% Trebbiano, 30% Grechetto, 20% Malvasia, 15% Verdello and 5% Drupeggio.
The result of centuries of devotion, selection and experience, this wine is the taste portrait of this area: cool as the air on the Orvieto rock, soft as the surrounding hills, direct, frank, open and sincere like the local people. Brilliant, pale straw-color with emerald reflections. The bouquet is ntense and filled with fresh fruit and floral nuances. In the palate, complex nuances of lemon, lime and apricots with a beguiling roundness and a fruity finish with a touch of bitter almond.
Origin of the name: A tribute to the three families of workers who were responsible for the farms on this hillside from the early 19th century and who have cultivated the grape varieties of Orvieto D.O.C. for generations.
Pairs with vegetables, fish, seafood, fresh and aged cheeses.
Buccella Cuvee Katrina Eileen Napa Valley is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Named after our first-born daughter, Cuvée Katrina Eileen is primarily composed of fruit from a vineyard in the Western Hills of Yountville, where yields are miniscule. The extremely rocky soil of the vineyard produces concentrated clusters of perfectly ripened Cabernet Sauvignon. In German, the name “Katrina” represents purity and fittingly, this wine is made entirely from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, providing a pure expression of this decadent varietal. It also reflects our daughter’s personality with flavors that are complex, unreserved and expressive.
Always a 100% Cabernet blend, our 2017 Cuvée Katrina Eileen is an opulent and mouth-enriching wine. Captivated by the inky-black color, luscious scents of dark espresso and cinnamon stick leap out, along with powerful elements of graphite and cassis. Remarkably rich and seamless, while boasting flavors of blueberry compote, dark chocolate and black raspberries, this is a compelling and luxurious wine focused upon velvety texture, silky tannins and incredible length. An intentional breadth on the palate and length in the finish are hallmarks of this wine.
Keermont Merlot is made from 100 percent Merlot.
The Keermont Merlot is crimson to strawberry red in color. The nose opens with aromas of sweet cherries, but evolves into savory clove and forest floor notes. On the palate, the wine has a soft and subtle entry. The tannin structure is dusty and firm, but not overpowering. A fresh line of natural acidity holds the wine together from the initial flavors of red berries and herbal tomato paste through to a dry spicy finish.
Aged 22 months in French Oak Barrels.
All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing.
Pair with red meat, pasta and pizza.
"The 2018 Merlot has an almost understated nose at first, opening with raspberry coulis and blueberry scents, then a touch of violet petals. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, a dash of white pepper and an almost Syrah-like finish. This is an excellent Merlot, especially considering how so many succumb to overripeness."
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 90 pts