The vineyards whose grapes are utilized for Conte della Vipera are located at 825-1150 feet (250-350 meters) above sea level. The vines are planted on soils rich in sediments of marine fossils interspersed with layered veins of clay which give the wines a savory mineral character. The decision to begin the picking of the Sauvignon Blanc was taken on the basis of the rapport between sugar concentration and the maximum expression of varietal aromas and flavors. The grapes were picked by hand, brought immediately to the cellars, and chilled by means of a refrigerated conveyor belt, an operation which lowered temperatures before pressing in order to preserve the integrity of the varietal aromas. After a soft pressing, the must remained at a temperature of 50° Fahrenheit (10° centigrade) to favor a natural settling of impurities. The must then went into stainless steel tanks where it fermented at temperatures held to a peak of 61° Fahrenheit (16°centigrade). The fermented wine remained at temperatures of approximately 50° Fahrenheit to block the malolactic fermentation and conserve to the maximum possible extent its varietal character and personality. The Sémillon was then blended into the Sauvignon Blanc to give further savor and amplitude to the wine.
A light yellow in color with greenish highlights, the wines shows fruity and varietal aromas with pleasurable notes of citrus fruit along with white peaches and lichees. The palate is characterful and structured with a vibrant vein of acidity which adds freshness to the flavors. The finish and aftertaste are long and balanced.
The wine takes its name from the first proprietors of the Castello della Sala, and the label carriea a design which shows the fifteenth century Saint John Chapel, located on the property. The first vintage of Conte della Vipera to be produced was the 1997.