Valdarno di Sopra is characterized by a varied landscape, with even sudden changes based on the different altitudes. In the valley, the Pliocene “Balze” cliffs flank cultivated areas, major inhabited centers and industrial and commercial settlements. While the hilly area, historically cultivated in terraces, is crossed by the Strada dei Setteponti, an Etruscan and then Roman route with the name of Via Clodia, which reaches Arezzo through small and suggestive historic villages, rich in points of artistic interest. Along its route, you can admire magnificent panoramas made of well-kept vineyards and olive trees, and its characteristic farmhouses, many of which have been transformed into active holiday or gastronomic farms, but also rich in broad-leaved woods and, at higher altitudes, woods of beech and coniferous trees.
The characteristic Balze of Valdarno are the original result following the drying up of the Pliocene lake which covered the entire area millions of years ago. The shores of the lake were bordered on one side by the hills currently known as Chianti Classico and on the other by the more prominent Pratomagno mountains, which today reach 1592 meters at the Croce del Pratomagno. When the waters receded, they left steep clayey inlets on the more marked banks shaped over time by atmospheric events and it is for this reason that the Balze cordillera is located especially on the right bank of the Arno river, on the slopes of Pratomagno, while on the opposite bank the erosions are much more modest, as for example in the hills of Figline Valdarno or Montevarchi, where the so-called smotte can be spotted.
Throughout the area of our Designation of Origin, the eastern and western sides of the Arno Valley, between the plain of Arezzo and the Florentine hills, the climate is extremely favorable for the cultivation of vines. According to the classification of the physiographic areas of the vine, drawn up by Rocchi in 1936 and revised by Pastena in 1977, Valdarno di Sopra falls within those intermediate areas where the negative climatic aspects are weaker, in favor of the positive characteristics of the climate.
In fact, although the production area falls for a good part of the year under the influence of the temperate and cold climate, during summer, it is embraced by the Mediterranean climate which decisively conditions the final phase of the vegetative cycle, allowing it to reach an optimal degree of ripening of the grapes. The particular bouquet and the particular notes that characterize the Valdarno di Sopra DOC wines, perceptible to the taste, are therefore undoubtedly linked to the specific soil and climatic characteristics of the area which alternates cold and harsh winters to very sunny and hot summer months, while maintaining a significant daily temperature range which ensures an ideal maintenance of the aromas.
The average annual rainfall, given the limited surface area of the DOC, can be defined as constant throughout its territory, while the seasonal distribution of rainfall is concentrated for about 70% in the autumn-winter period.
The soil and the microclimate assume great importance in terms of factors that make up our terroir. In the province of Arezzo, a viticultural zoning study carried out by the University of Milan, under the guidance of Prof. Attilio Scienza, has allowed the drafting of a pedo-landscape map which has highlighted the great viticultural potential of the area. In fact, the area of the Valdarno di Sopra DOC enjoys great homogeneity in terms of soil and climate, but at the same time contains within itself different types of soil capable of qualitatively characterizing all the wines. The choice of varieties that prefers soils with a good texture, which have a valid thickness and a consistent subsoil, suitable for quality viticulture and the hilly orography of the area, combined with the prevailing exposure of the vineyards, facing west / south-west, contribute to determine a well-ventilated, bright environment, ideal for the balanced development of the plants and the production of healthy, high-quality grapes.
The viticulture of Valdarno di Sopra, thanks to the particular orography and climatic characteristics, has therefore always been the result of an intertwining between its natural environment and the cultural evolution resulting from human intervention, examples of which are still visible on the roads flanked by the borders of the vineyards of the quartered Legions, inherited from the Etruscans, the enormous dry terracing works from the Middle Ages, under the Romanesque parish churches along the pilgrims’ routes towards Rome, Via di San Pietro, as well as the new plants able to exploit the wide altitudinal difference of the land, thus expanding the qualitative and identifying spectrum of the wines.
A land of culture, a borderline between ancient and modern states, inhabited by populations who have expressed their knowledge by making the most of geological and mineral, climatic and cultural specificities.