The history of wine dates back thousands of years. In its basic form, wine making is a natural process. Mother Nature provides everything that is needed to make good wine; it is the job of a skilled winemaker to bring together, embellish and build on what mother nature has created. Take a tour of our land and our winemaking process.
We are located along the Mississippi River within a unique AVA (American Viticultural Area) called Upper Mississippi River Valley. This valley was created in glacial times and is characterised by its large hills and gravelly or sandy soils perfectly suited for grape growing. As the French would say a unique "terroir"... meaning "soil" or "land" is key to producing great grapes.
Our area is one of the most promising for growing grapes in the Midwest because of it's unique geologic and topographic environment.
Steep, sloping hills maximize exposure to sun and heat. Free air flow prevents mildew from forming – a challenge outside of dry climates.
Unique silted clays and sandy soils lying over virgin, rugged limestone combine to create perfect drainage and rocky mineral sand.
Our grapes are hybrids of European classics, engineered to withstand colder and more humid climates.
Our French grape harvester makes the harvesting process smooth and efficient, allowing us to crush the fresh grapes immediately after harvest.
In 2015, we crushed over 120 tons of grapes from our 2 vineyards on Lake Pepin and from Villa Bellezza growers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.
We bring together traditional techniques and modern science to wine making. Cutting-edge technology and innovative equipment enables us to work to refine our blends and continually perfect our wines. Our approach of combining old and new methodologies to the art of making wine allows us to share with you not only our craft, but also passion for great wine.
Grapes must be harvested at the precise time. A combination of science and old-fashioned tasting usually go into determining when to harvest.
After harvest grapes are destemmed, crushed and pressed in our 5,000 square foot processing facility.
Each of our state of the art stainless steel tanks can be monitored by a computer system engineered for optimum wine environment control.
Traditional Italian winemaking methods yield rich evolved fruit characteristics both in the bouquet and on the palette.
The clarification process or racking involves moving wine from tank to tank.
We are a winery primarily focused on artisan blends; releasing new and different blends throughout the year. As a new winery with 10 year old vines, we have had great success with our fresh young blends. Our robust red varieties age in oak barrels to enable the complexities to mature properly and enhance the delicate nuances of the wines. Visit Villa Bellezza during one of our scheduled winery tour times and end the tour in our tasting room sampling our wine blends.
To bring out the fruit of the Marechal Foch grape, our Terra wine underwent a process called carbonic maceration with great success.
We store our most promising reds in barrels to bring out the complexities that only come with age.
Our onsite, state of the art GIA bottling system allows us to package new release wines quickly and easily at a rate of 850 bottles an hour.
Our award winning Zitella, made up of primarily St. Pepin grapes, was cold fermented in order to enhance aroma's.
Villa Bellezza wines are fruit forward and true to the grape. We create artisan blends based on the characteristics and strengths of each varietal.