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Ca’ Liptra was founded in 2012. The four partners met either at enology school or on the job at some of Le Marche’s top wineries (La Distesa, Pievalta, Fattoria Le Terrazze).The name is a play on words: calyptra is a botanical term, referring to the thin cap that protects flowering parts as they are developing. In grapevines this part blows off as the flowering process begins. The name Ca’Liptra is a combination of Ca’ (meaning “house of”) and the initials of the partners’ last names (Giovanni Loberto, Roberto Pisani, Antonella TRaspadini, and Agostino Alfieri).
The estate is located in Cupramontana, one of the highest-quality villages in the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi denomination, in Le Marche. The village itself sits at 505 meters above sea level and is influenced just as much by cool air coming off the Appennines as it is by the Adriatic coast; because of this, the wines are aromatically assertive and bright, without losing the inherent richness of Verdicchio, and that clay-limestone soils impart. Today, Ca’Liptra has 2.5 hectares of vines. This makes it an exceedingly tiny estate, but almost no land is for sale in the area, and planting new vineyards is prohibited. However, this suits Ca’Liptra quite well: none of the vines is younger than 31 years old and the estate can focus on producing wines that are truly representative of a small area. The plots are planted to Verdicchio, Trebbiano, Montepulciano, and a touch of Sangiovese.
Farming is organic (certification pending), and within that framework Ca’Liptra finds a lot of flexibility. For the hot, dry 2015 vintage, they adhered more to the “do-nothing” school of thought. Aside from copper/sulfur treatments and the occasional light mowing of grasses or mulching of vine cuttings from pruning, there was no tilling, no cover crops, no bunch thinning, no green harvest, no leaf plucking. The grapes and the soil were allowed to do what they want to do. For the 2016 vintage, in contrast, specific cover crops were matched to each parcel. In the cellar, the main desire is to let the terroir of Cupramontana shine, so they approach matters with the same flexibility. Different vessels and approaches are used, depending on the wine and situation.
Le Marche has yet to get the credit it deserves and Verdicchio is certainly one of Italy’s best white grapes. We are very happy to count the young but forward-thinking Ca’ Liptra among our growing roster of Italian estates.