Focus on Montalcino

We asked the owners (and in the case of Podere Brizio the agronomist Lorenzo Bernini) of the seven estates of Montalcino part of our portfolio to tell us about the microzones where their vineyards stand. For further information please refer to the page of our website dedicated to each estate.

Source of the map: Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino

 

Podere Brizio

Owner: as of July 2013 the estate is owned by Dievole SpA

Total annual production: 50,000 btls

Total vineyard extension: 9 hectares

Wines produced: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Rosso di Montalcino DOC,  Colli Toscana Centrale IGT, Sant’Antimo Rosso DOC

Link to the website page:

http://www.marcdegrazia.com/italian-wine-selections/italian-wine-producers/podere-brizio.html

The estate is located in the Santa Restituta district, south west of Montalcino. This area is protected by hail and storms by Monte Amiata, an inactive volcano south-east of Montalcino and 1,740 meters high. The soils and the climate here are particularly favourable for the expression of the Sangiovese varietal. The climate is slightly warmer in comparison to other zones of the Montalcino area which makes the conditions for viticulture particularly favourable. The soils are of Pliocenic origin, calcareous and rich in fossils. The clones of Sangiovese were selected from the oldest vines of Podere Brizio when the vineyards were replanted (the vineyards of Brunello are 30, 20 and 11 years old, while the vineyards of Rosso are ten years old). The grape yield is well below what the appellation allows. Only the best clusters are chosen for the wines.  

Podere Brizio is now in the conversion phase to be certified organic, specific vegetation is sown on the aisles between the rows of vines in order to keep the grape yield low and to provide green manure to the soil favouring its regeneration and keeping it vital.

 

 

Gianni Brunelli – Le Chiuse di Sotto

Owner: Laura Vacca Brunelli

Total annual production: 30,000 btls

Total vineyard extension: 6.5 hectares

Wines produced: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Toscana Rosso IGT, Toscana Rosato IGT

Link to the website page:

http://www.marcdegrazia.com/italian-wine-selections/italian-wine-producers/gianni-brunelli-le-chiuse-di-sotto.html

The estate is made up of two properties: Canalicchio and Podernovone.

Canalicchio: the vineyards extend for two hectares and stand at 200 meters above sea level in the northern part of Montalcino. The exposure is north-east. The composition of the soil is mixed with galestro (marl).

The vines were replanted in 1989. Grass cover is left on the aisles between the rows in order to increase the competition with the vines and in order to keep the grape yield low.

The “Podernovone” property has a magnificent view on Monte Amiata and it is endowed with 4.5 hectares standing at 350 meters above sea level, mainly Sangiovese with a small percentage of Merlot (that goes into the blend of the IGT/proprietary wine “Amor Costante”). The soil of Podernovone, made up of calcareous-marly schists, reflects light and heat thus favouring the ripening of the grapes. Four different vineyards stand on this property: “Olmo”, “Oliva”, “Quercia” and “Gelso”. The vines were replanted in 1997.

The different climate of the two properties (fresh and airy at Canalicchio with a lot of rain in the summer and warmer and ventilated at Podernovone) results in complex and elegant wines, as they are made from the vineyards of both estates.

 

La Serena – Azienda Agricola Rasa 1°

Owner: Andrea Mantengoli

Total annual production: 35,000 btls

Total vineyard extension: 8.5 hectares

Wines produced: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Rosso di Montalcino DOC,

Link to the website page:

http://www.marcdegrazia.com/italian-wine-selections/italian-wine-producers/la-serena-rasa-1.html

The estate is located in the southern-eastern  area of Montalcino. Wine has always been made in Montalcino and this is because the zone is particularly suitable for viticulture. In the past each different type of soil was sown with the crop that gave the best results and this is why vines and olive groves are grown here. The altitude at La Serena varies from 300 to 400 meters above sea level and the estate is certified organic. The composition of the soils varies from sandy to clayey. A specific rootstock and a specific Sangiovese clone are planted in each microzone of the estate and they are chosen depending on the type of soil, on the microclimate and on the exposure. Andrea Mantengoli is supported by the well known agronomist Ruggero Mazzilli who specialises in sustainable viticulture. The clusters at La Serena are protected by the vine canopy against the strong sun during the summer months. With suitable agronomic procedures, that are implemented right at the beginning of the vegetation cycle,  the vines can “live” longer guaranteeing high quality. The vines are closely and continuously checked so as to enhance their defences through adequate techniques.  Andrea tells us that, although high investments and specialised manpower are necessary in order to manage the vineyards organically, the quality reached is unquestionable.

 

Tenuta Le Potazzine

Owner: Giuseppe and Gigliola Gorelli

Total annual production: 40,000 btls

Total vineyard extension: 5 hectares

Wines produced: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Rosso di Montalcino DOC, IGT Toscana Rosso

Link to the website page:

http://www.marcdegrazia.com/italian-wine-selections/italian-wine-producers/le-potazzine.html

The wines are produced from two vineyards, both standing in the zone south-west of the town of Montalcino, that are located at a distance of 7 kilometres one from the other. The vineyard of Le Prata, of an extension of 3.5 hectares, is next to the farmstead and to the cellar and stands at an altitude of 507 metres above sea level, the exposure is south west. Approximately one half of the vines was replanted in 2001 while the other half was replanted in 2007, the vineyard density is 6,000 vines per hectare.

The vineyard of La Torre is in the area of Sant’Angelo in Colle, the altitude is 320 meters above sea level, the exposure is south-east, the vines were replanted in 1999 and the vineyard density is  4,000 vines/hectare. The soil is a classical galestro soil at La Torre and is skeletal, while the soil at Le Prata is richer with a strong presence of iron  (in fact the soil is reddish). This is due to the fact that many decades ago this land was covered by chestnut woods and these trees conditioned and enriched the soil. The soil type of the neighbouring estates is very different, mainly clayey.

The harvest period in these two vineyards is different: it is a good week earlier at La Torre due to its lower altitude.

The wines that these two vineyards yield are also different: the wines made from the vineyard in Sant’Angelo have more intense colour, they are more structured and more full bodied, the acidity is slightly lower than the wines made from the Le Prata vineyard. The wines made from Le Prata are elegant, fresh, with evident aromatics and with a lively acidity. “The fact of having these two vineyards has a specific reason – the owner of the estate Beppe Gorelli tells us – so as to be able to make a blend for the production of an only type of wine.” The wines are vinified and matured in wood separately, they are then blended four or five months before bottling.

 

 

Azienda Agricola San Filippo

Owner: Roberto Giannelli

Total annual production: 60,000 btls

Total vineyard extension: 9 hectares

Wines produced: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Sant’Antimo DOC

Link to the website page:

http://www.marcdegrazia.com/italian-wine-selections/italian-wine-producers/san-filippo.html

The estate is located in the zone of Cerbaiona, in the north-east of Montalcino, which is considered one of the most prestigious by the Italian and international markets, representing an excellence in regard to exposure and type of soil. The soil is mainly Galestro (marl), with rocks of various dimensions. The altitude is 280-300 meters above sea level. There is a very wide day-night temperature range from June to September so that the wines produced from the vineyards standing in this area are extremely elegant and slightly less full-bodied in comparison to the wines produced in other areas of Montalcino. The estate is now certified organic.  Cover crops are sown on every second aisle between the rows of vines, only organic fertilizers are used, but none were used in 2013. Only copper and sulphur base products are sprayed. Roberto Giannelli has grafted the Cabernet, Syrah and part of the Merlot vineyards, that were part of the estate when he bought it in 2003, with Sangiovese so that now the vineyard extension is mainly Sangiovese (8 hectares) with 1 hectare of Merlot which goes into the blend of the Sant’Antimo DOC Staffato. The clones of Sangiovese were taken from the estate’s vineyards.

 

Podere Scopetone

Owners: Loredana Tanganelli and Antonio Brandi

Total annual production: 13,800 btls

Total vineyard extension: 2.5 hectares

Wines produced: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Toscana Sangiovese IGT

Link to the website page:

http://www.marcdegrazia.com/italian-wine-selections/italian-wine-producers/scopetone.html

The zone where the vineyards stand is west-north/west of the town of Montalcino, at an average altitude of 450-500 meters above sea level. This zone is quite unique and the soils are quite deep and fresh, skeletal, clayey and calcareous. In some plots the presence of clay and of texture is quite high. The microclimate is fresh and airy. The good water supply in the ground and the deep soils usually make the grapes ripen late, so that the clusters develop slowly and gradually and reach a complete phenolic ripening. Consequently the colour is excellent and the tannins are complex and sweet. Another positive aspect is that the zone, in regard to exposure and soil configuration, is not affected by the heat waves that are increasingly frequent during the summer (due to the global warming effect) and that are always very negative for the quality of the grapes (with torrid air and strong and scorching sun radiation). Environment friendly practices are followed in the vineyards, practices that maintain the soil profile intact are favoured, only natural fertilizers are used and copper and sulphur base products are sprayed. The soil is worked by hand rather than mechanically.  

 

Azienda Agricola Uccelliera

Owner: Andrea Cortonesi

Total annual production: 50,000 btls

Total vineyard extension: 6.3 hectares

Wines produced: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Toscana Rosso IGT

Link to the website page:

http://www.marcdegrazia.com/italian-wine-selections/italian-wine-producers/uccelliera.html

The potential of the terroir is very well represented in this estate: the vineyards stand at various altitudes, from 150 to 250 meters above sea level. The farmstead is located at 250 meters above sea level. Due to this peculiarity, the expression of this zone and of each vintage is reflected in the wines. Depending on the climate, the percentage of the grapes from the vineyards at the different altitudes is decided upon for the different wines. The soil is rich in iron and its composition varies: calcareous clay, sandy clay, mixed type of clay. The drainage is good due to the strong presence of rocks. Furthermore, these soils are very stratified (presence of layers of different soil texture) and this helps the vines in stress situations such as driving rain (as mentioned the drainage is good) or intense heat (the humidity in the lower layers rises to the surface). The root system of the vines is deep and absorbs the many minerals in the soil. Uccelliera is right next to a quarry of onyx and one of travertine marble, this zone is also near Mount Amiata that is an inactive volcano. Andrea Cortonesi tells us that as this zone has so much to offer, it is his duty to make high quality wine.