Zone:S. Gimignano (Siena)
Vineyard extension (hectares):0.7
Vineyard age (year of planting):Merlot 1999
Soil Type:The soil originates from the bottom of a lake, red soil with travertine marble at one meter of depth
Exposure:West. Altitude 250 meters above sea level
Flavour:Sapid, intense, good acidity, fresh
Serving temperature (°C):16-18
Match with:Game, medium aged cheese, grilled red meat
Average no. bottles/year:3,000
Grape yield per hectare tons:6
First released vintage: 2006
Vinification and ageing
Maceration with the skins for 8 days, the wine matures for 18 months in large oak casks and in barriques. Finishing in the bottle for 1 year
Address:Loc. S. Lucia, 36 53037 S. Gimignano SI
Year of establishment:1984
Total annual production:70000
Total vineyard extension (hectares):11.8
Planted varietals and extension (hectares):0.3ha Cabernet sauvignon 0.3ha Chardonnay 0.4ha Merlot 4.4ha Sangiovese 5.95ha Vernaccia
Vine training system:
Cultivation method in the vineyard:grass is left on the aisles between the rows of vines
Type of viticulture:certified organic since 1998
Harvest period:beginning of September/Mid October
Tenuta Le Calcinaie is a beautiful small estate just three kilometres from the town of San Gimignano (in the province of Siena). It is named after the composition of the soil of this zone: in fact layers of limestone, originating from marine deposits of the Pliocene epoch, are found at half a meter underground (“calce” means lime in Italian).
Simone Santini, a wine technician, is the owner: he planted his first hectare with Vernaccia vines, the “Vigna ai Sassi” vineyard, in 1986 and in 1989 he planted 7,000 square meters with red grape varieties. At the time he was also working as a bricklayer. The 1993 vintage of Teodoro, 100% Sangiovese, was the first wine he released (only one barrique was bottled) followed by the 1995 vintage of Vernaccia di San Gimignano. At first Simone contracted vineyards then he gradually bought plots of land. The total vineyard extension is now 12 hectares and the average production is 70,000 bottles/year. Since 1995 viticulture follows the organic protocol, the vineyards are certified organic since 1998 and since 2012 also the wines are certified organic (according to the EU regulation).
At first the wines were vinified and matured in a small cellar, then a new cellar was completed in 2006. It is built underground so that the temperature is kept even. Furthermore, an optimal level of humidity is obtained as the front part is insulated and the back walls are made with reinforced concrete which is permeable and lets the moisture from the ground seep through.
The composition of the soil – layers of limestone topped by layers of clay, sand and fossils – yields mineral, structured and flavourful whites. The delicate skin of the Vernaccia grapes is protected from the sun by the north-eastern exposure of the vineyards. The reds are grown on the higher part of the property and the soils are skeletal and made up of brown clay: this enhances the colour and power in the wines. The altitude of the vineyards is between 200 and 250 meters above sea level.
A Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva, a Chianti Colli Senesi, a Chianti Colli Senesi Riserva and three IGT/proprietary wines are made. Two 100% Sangiovese and one 100% Merlot. “Ingredienti Uva” is a 100 % Sangiovese proprietary wine made without the use of sulphites.