Latest news and new faces at Villa Alessandri 2017

2017 was the second year of the Marc de Grazia Selections experience at Villa Alessandri and it was extremely positive as in 2016! This year the formula was different: the event lasted for three days, it started on Saturday the 8th of April (one day before the Vinitaly Fair) and it finished on Monday the 10th of April. This will probably be the formula for the future years.
The weather was luckily wonderful during the whole event so that the producers and the customers could enjoy the sun and relax in the beautiful park.
52 estates were present with a table and the wines of 22 estates (who could not be present in person at Vinitaly) were shown at a communal table.
Our customers had the possibility of tasting the 2016 whites that had just been bottled and the vat samples of the 2016 reds. The tastings proved that the quality of the 2016 wines is extremely promising.
All our major customers from the US and from Japan were present. The number of Australian customers was higher then usual: the wine market in Australia is very dynamic although Australia is a wine producing country. Our customers were assisted by the Marc de Grazia Selections’ staff from the Florence office and by the staff of deGraziaImports who flew over from the US.
The shuttle bus, that offered a service to and from the Vinitaly fair, ensured that producers and clients could go back and forth from the Villa to the Fair without problem and quickly.
A gala dinner with producers and friends was held at the Villa on Saturday night.
A dinner was held at Trattoria Al Ponte in Sommacampagna to celebrate 20 years of work with Salvatore Molettieri. The de Grazia staff, customers and journalists participated. A vertical tasting of Taurasi from 2010 to 1992 took place during the dinner.
Finally the traditional and always extremely pleasant dinner at Azienda Gini was held. Sandro and Claudio Gini presented their Amarone and Valpolicella Superiore to friends and customers “en primeur”. These wines are about to be bottled and they will be released on the market in autumn 2017.
As already mentioned, the experience at Villa Alessandri was extremely positive, the tastings were carried out in a professional and relaxed atmosphere.
The Vinitaly Fair will take place from the 15th till the 18th of April in 2018.
The event at Villa Alessandri will take place on the 14-15-16 April 2018.
We hope to see you all at Villa Alessandri in 2018!

Please read about our new arrivals as follows:

Montalcino (province of Siena)
Aisna/La Gerla di Rossi Alessandro


Brief presentation: the history of the estate is the history of the Rossi family. Sergio Rossi, who had a passion for viticulture and wine making, moved to Montalcino at the beginning of the 1970s. Together with his cousin Giulio Consonno he established and managed the “Altesino” and “Caparzo” estates and he then established his own estate, “La Gerla”. His son Alessandro, after having graduated in psychology at the University of Padua, followed his father and moved to Montalcino in1996. At the beginning he worked with his father and then he started up his own estate, “AISNA/La Gerla di Rossi Alessandro”, in 1998. "Aisna" means "divine" in the language of the ancient Etruscans. For many years Alessandro produced high quality grapes that were sold to his father. When unfortunately Sergio passed away in 2011, Alessandro started making wine with his own grapes. Alessandro still owns a part of his father’s estate.
Year of establishment: 1998
Owner: Alessandro Rossi
Vineyard extension: 5.3 hectares
Grape variety: Sangiovese Grosso (year of planting 1998-2000)
Vine training system: guyot and cordon spur
Type of viticulture: integrated/sustainable
Time of harvest: first/second week of October
Agronomist/Oenologist: Maurizio Castelli

The Wines

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012
Production zone: Castelnuovo dell’Abate 80% and Canalicchio 20%  (Montalcino)
Grape variety: Sangiovese Grosso (year of planting 1998/2000)
Type of soil: Galestro (clay schist) and clay
Exposure: south/north
Altitude: 350-400 meters above sea level
Grape yield/hectare: 6 tons
Vinification and ageing: maceration with the skins for 28 days in steel vats without temperature control. The vats are cooled with water and with delestage.  The wine then matures in French oak casks (25 hectolitre capacity) and in French oak tonneaux (5 hectolitres), 50% of the wine for 26 months, 50% of the wine for 30 months.
Organoleptic analysis: the colour is garnet red. Ripe cherry, rosemary and spicy notes on the nose. The aroma is complex and sophisticated. In the mouth it is flavourful and the tannins are supple.
Average production/year: 7,000 bottles

Rosso di Montalcino DOC (the 2015 vintage will be released in September)
Production zone: Castelnuovo dell’Abate 50% and Altesi 50% (Montalcino)
Grape variety: Sangiovese Grosso (year of planting 1998/2000)
Type of soil: Galestro (clay schist) and clay
Exposure: south/west
Altitude: 350-400 meters above sea level
Grape yield/hectare: 7 tons
Vinification and ageing: maceration with the skins for 25 days without temperature control. The wine then matures in French oak tonneaux (5 hectolitres) for 11 months.
Suggested serving temperature: 19 degrees Celsius.
Suggested food matches: red meat dishes, cured meat, game, seasoned cheese.
Average production/year: 2,000 bottles.

go to the section on Aisna/La Gerla on our website


Castiglione di Sicilia (province of Catania)
Famiglia Statella


Owners: Calogero and Rita Statella
Brief presentation: Calogero Statella has been the oenologist of Tenuta delle Terre Nere since 2008. In 2016 he purchased, together with his wife Rita, a vineyard on Mount Etna located in the Pettinociarelle district (Sollicchiata, commune of Castiglione di Sicilia). Pettinociarelle is a district that was very famous in the past for wine, as the soils (that are poor) gave a low grape yield, but the wines from these grapes were of very high quality. Nowadays the vineyard of Calogero and Rita is one of the few vineyards that are still productive. After the second World War many farmers had to abandon these vineyards as vines were planted in areas that ensured a higher production. Many vineyards were gradually converted into olive groves.
2016 is the first vintage of their excellent Etna Rosso DOC. The grapes are vinified at the cellar of Tenuta delle Terre Nere. Calogero tells us: “ The Etna: a land where we were both born. In this unique area for viticulture, the traditional artisanal approach to wine making is the only way to express the genotype-environment interaction in the best possible way through a deep knowledge of the terroir of the Mount Etna and of its grape varieties. The aim is to make wines of an extremely high quality and that express a strong character of the area. Our estate and our wine stem from this idea.”
Owners: Calogero and Rita Statella
Year of establishment of the estate: 2016
Vineyard extension: 1 hectare
Grape varieties: 90% Nerello Mascalese and 10% Nerello Cappuccio (year of planting 2005)
Vine training system: cordon spur
Type of viticulture: certified organic
Time of harvest: mid-end of October
Agronomist/Oenologist: Calogero Statella

The wine

Etna Rosso DOC Pettinociarelle 2016
Production zone: Pettinociarelle district (Solicchiata, Castiglione di Sicilia)
Grape variety: 90% Nerello Mascalese and 10% Nerello Cappuccio (year of planting 2005)
Type of soil: volcanic
Exposure: north
Altitude: 765 meters above sea level
Grape yield/hectare: 6 tons
Vinification and ageing: traditional red vinification with punching down of the cap. Maceration with the skins for 10-15 days. The wine matures in French oak tonneaux of second and third use for 10 months.
Organoleptic analysis: the colour is an intense ruby red when young, complex on the nose with red fruit and Mediterranean scrub notes. It is well balanced in the mouth with tightly knit tannins, it is velvety and with a pleasant and persistent finish.
Suggested serving temperature: 16-18 degrees Celsius
Suggested food matches: rice and pasta dishes with meat or vegetables, white and red grilled meat, medium seasoned cheese.
Average production/year: 4,500 bottles

go to the section on Famiglia Statella on our website

Castellammare del Golfo (province of Trapani)
Tenuta Le Terre Chiare


Brief presentation: the Stabile Butera family have been vignerons for four generations. The family has always believed in a deep respect for the terroir and for indigenous grape varieties. In 2016 the decision was taken to produce a wine exclusively made with Catarratto from vineyards that stand at 500 meters above sea level on medium texture soils tending to calcareous. Catarratto is a grape variety that has been used in the recent past to produce blending wine. In the last years this grape was re-discovered, as it can express its full potential, obtaining wines with and excellent aroma and flavour, when grown in ideal conditions, such as found at Tenuta Le Terre Chiare. The aim of the estate, with full respect of the characteristics of the Catarratto grape, is to make a fresh and elegant wine supported by a good acidity, rich in floral and not quite ripe fruity notes, with a complex flavour where a mineral note stands out.
Year of establishment of the estate: 2002
Owner: Stabile Butera family
Vineyard extension: 15 hectares
Grape varieties: 5 hectares Catarratto, 5 hectares Grillo, 3 hectares Perricone, 2 hectares Nero d’Avola
Vine training system: espalier
Type of viticulture: practicing organic
Time of harvest: 15-20 September
Agronomist: Giuseppe Alesi
Oenologist: Nicola Centonze

The wine

Terre Siciliane IGT Le Terre Chiare Catarratto 2016
Production zone: Castellammare/Vita (province of Trapani)
Grape variety: 100% Catarratto (year of planting 2007)
Type of soil: medium texture tending to calcareous
Exposure: south-west
Altitude: 500 meters above sea level
Grape yield/hectare: 8 tons
Vinification and ageing: vinification in steel with temperature control. The wine matures in steel.
Organoleptic analysis: the colour is straw yellow, floral and fruity notes, wild pear notes on the nose. In the mouth it is sapid supported by a good acidity, it is well balanced with evident mineral notes.
Suggested serving temperature: 10-12 degrees Celsius
Suggested food matches: fish and seafood hors d’oeuvres, pasta and rice dishes, white meat and fish
Average production/year: 10,000 bottles

go to the section on Le Terre Chiare on our website