Azienda Madonna del Latte, Umbria


Manuela Zardo, Helmuth Zwecker and Son

Wines from Love and Passion

Manuela Zardo and Hellmuth Zwecker’s passion for Italian wines originated from their work in cultural tourism in Italy, and the books they have published about Italian cooking and culinary culture. When they were traveling the regions in search for the best and most interesting restaurants, they met some high-quality winemakers who became a very fruitful source of information. Their visits to the wineries for tastings and communal feasts led to friendships with those who influenced the couple with their passion for wine.

The couple started to look for a suitable location to make their very own, personal wines and found it in Orvieto in 2000. Having been immediately fascinated by the discreet charm and unspoilt rusticity of the village Sucano, they asked viticulturist Federico Curtaz in spring 2005, who prepared the soil for the celebrated wines of Angelo Gaja in Piemont to plant vines for them. The vines grow fabulously on volcanic soil, with optimal alignment towards the sun, and the excellent aeration 450 meters above sea level due to the breeze from the Umbrian mountains. The location had been a great site for red wines since the times of the Papal States before local farmers started farming white Orvieto Classico here and down the valley. From 2009 onwards, the winemaking has been supervised and overseen by oenologist, Dr. Paolo Peira, who was nominated for the Premio Luigi Veronelli for best winemaker of the year in 2007.

Peira wholeheartedly assists their son, Leon, who joined the winemaking team after having finished training at winemaking schools in Silberberg/ Steiermark, and in Krems, and worked in South Tyrol, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, California, and New Zealand. The vines constantly reward this family estate with magnificent healthy and mature grapes since 2006, with thanks to their farmer Aldo, who grew up on the estate. Young wines are produced in their modern fermentation cellar, maturing in small wooden barrels after alcoholic and malolactic fermentations. The wines are kept in an ideal surrounding at a constant temperature and optimal humidity in an old tuff cave under their house, a common practice in the heart of old Etruria.