Photo by Nataly Montanari
Grattamacco is the second winery to be founded in the Bolgheri Appellation and its wine history begins in 1977 with its purchase by Piermario and Paola Meletti Cavallari. The estate was then acquired by the Tipa – Bertarelli family in 2002. The family maintains the philosophy of organic production and preserves the authenticity of the style of the wine, which owes its strong identity to the particular terroir of the hill, to the artisanal vinification, to the unusual use for Bolgheri area of Sangiovese in the blend. Particular attention in the development of recent years has been dedicated to the choice of training methods, with the first Alberello vineyard planted in Bolgheri, and to varieties such as Vermentino, on whose production Grattamacco was a precursor in time.
Ruffino, founded in 1877 in Pontassieve, near Florence, is synonymous of the history of wine in Tuscany. Great Tuscan classics, wines like Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale, Riserva Ducale Oro, Chianti Ruffino and Brunello di Montalcino Greppone Mazzi, have always been at the heart of Ruffino’s production. At the same time, the willingness to take on new challenges has resulted in the creation of striking Supertuscans, including the award-winning Modus and new entry Modus Primo since the 2018 vintage and the 2020 launch of Aqua di Venus, with wines that perfectly embody the company’s trendy and more modern side. At the end of 2011, Ruffino was acquired by Constellation Brands, the #1 wine company in the United States. Today, Ruffino is firmly rooted in Tuscany, while continuing to embrace the complex challenges of the global market.
Podere Sapaio was born in 1999 in Castagneto Carducci, Bolgheri, from the will of Massimo Piccin, a Venetian engineer moved by a grand passion for wine. A courageous and visionary choice, invest in a property in Bolgheri. Today the winery boasts 25 hectares of organic vineyards management, curates mainly vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. and the production of two labels: Sapaio and Volpolo (100.000 bottles per year). At Podere Sapaio innovation is pursued in the name of an authentic bond with the land. Technology and innovation coexist. The respect for the environment translates into a sustainable approach in working the vineyards
San Felice is a prestigious winery located near to Siena who has made great wines, as the first SuperTuscan Vigorello. The 150 hectares of vineyards are mainly planted to Sangiovese and confirms the estate’s flair for producing Chianti Classico. San Felice has carried out research projects to rediscover forgotten indigenous varieties: one of the iconic is Pugnitello. San Felice decided to acquire the estate Tenuta Campogiovanni in Montalcino in 1981 and in recent years 15 hectares in Bolgheri. The historic medieval hamlet was transformed into luxury resort part of Relais & Châteaux since 1992.
A dream, a mission, a challenge: in 2002, after years of research, agronomist and winemaker Carlo Ferrini finally identified a promise-filled plot of vines in the noble earth of Brunello di Montalcino. Today, on the street between Sant’Angelo in Colle and Sant’Antimo monastery complex, Ferrini cultivates six hectares of vineyard, divided into three parcels. The first (at 300 m a.s.l.) is shallow and gravel-rich, while the other two (at 400 m a.s.l.) are deeper, with clay soils. The clones he selected are all low-vigour Sangiovese biotypes that produce loose clusters and very tiny berries. The first bottled wine was of the 2009 vintage. Giodo, the name being a tribute to Carlo’s parents Giovanna and Donatello. All of this is a passion shared with his daughter Bianca, who has worked alongside Ferrini right from the very beginning of rooting his dream in the earth.
Lungarotti has contributed to writing Italian wine history with Giorgio Lungarotti who after WW2 transformed the family’s Torgiano farm into a successful winery. An ongoing history thanks to the passion of 3 generations of the family which continues to innovate while remaining true to the character of iconic wines such as Rubesco Riserva Vigna Monticchio DOCG, considered one of Italy’s top red wines. In the 250 hectares of vineyards at the Torgiano Estate (VIVA certification) and the one in Montefalco (organic certification) the viticulture focuses on sustainability and biodiversity
Donnafugata was established in Sicily by a family with over 170 years of experience in premium wines that has been able to innovate the style and perception of Sicilian wine throughout the world. Today José and Antonio Rallo lead the company and a team of people focused on excellence. Donnafugata is wine craftsmanship, focusing its attention on small productions of value from unique territories and vineyards, with respect for the environment. The company counts on the historical cellars of Marsala and on over 400 hectares in four estates: in Contessa Entellina, Pantelleria, Etna and Vittoria.
From travels, to vineyards, to wine. That is the process at Castello di Vicarello, a wine project born in the Maremma but rich with international influences. First stop, Bordeaux in the late 1990s, when Carlo Baccheschi Berti, a Florence-born globetrotter, was struck by the beauty of the area and decided to create his own Bordeaux-style wines in the heart of the Maremma, where he lived with his wife Aurora. He did all this in his own way, planting the classic varieties – Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot – at a very high density and trained to the old Tuscan alberello system. That soon gave birth to the estate’s iconic wine named after the winery and its own vineyard.
Nestled in the heart of the Chianti Classico, Castellare di Castellina estate covers a total of 80 hectares. The vineyards occupy 33 hectares on the hillsides of a natural southeast-facing amphitheater, at an average height of 430 meters above sea level. The vines are aged between 7 and over 45 years and yields per hectare are kept very low, in order to obtain the top quality. Excellent exposure to the sun, good water drainage and a mixed soil containing limestone marl, galestro and little clay produce well-structured, intense wines, both red and white, suitable for long ageing in the bottle. The head oenologist is Alessandro Cellai, a proud pupil of Giacomo Tachis, father of the Renaissance of Italian enology.
Banfi, a family-owned wine producer, based in Tuscany, is celebrated worldwide as “Builders of Brunello.” The Mariani family, firmly established as leading importers of fine wine in the US, founded their Banfi vineyard estate in Montalcino in 1978.
They assembled a contiguous estate of 2,830 hectares, one-third of the property is under specialized vine, and the balance is shared between olive groves, wheat fields, plum trees, truffle stands, forest, and scrub. The medieval Poggio alle Mura Castle crowning the estate, part of Banfi estate since 1983, is lovingly restored as a pioneering beacon for regional hospitality. Just over a year after the founding of Banfi in Montalcino, the Mariani acquired the historic Piedmontese winery Bruzzone, today known as Banfi Piemonte. Since its inception, Banfi Piemonte has undergone constant growth, interspersing an inherent typicity with technological innovation and a distinct vocation for quality sparkling wines. Recently Banfi has approached new Tuscan territories, among the most renowned in the region, such as Bolgheri, Maremma, Chianti, and Chianti Classico.
In 1974, Giuseppe Mori, Alessandro’s father – the current owner of the wine estate – falls in love with the medieval village of Montalcino and decided to buy a small farm on the North-facing side of the village.
The property is situated beneath the thirteenth-century church dedicated to the Madonna delle Grazie which gives its name to the small village where Giuseppe plants his first vineyard. The Mori family plants the first 3,000 metres of vineyard in 1975, then a large area in 1979, followed by the last 9,000 metres in 1984. These are “trailblazing” years, as Alessandro – who at the time was still attending high school – likes to recall. “Our family did not come from the wine world and, initially, no one thought this ‘hobby’ would become the job of their lives.” explains Alessandro. Therefore, harvest after harvest, the passion for this world and the real love for Il Marroneto grow in Alessandro, who in the meantime graduates and starts his professional career. He continues to follow the two activities, that is being a lawyer and a vigneron, but in the end, the latter prevails.
The Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004, encircles the Podere Forte. The estate was founded in 1997 by Pasquale Forte, a visionary entrepreneur who has created a balanced system following the principles of organic and biodynamic agriculture. 500 hectares estate where people, plants and animals coexist in harmony and sustainable self-sufficiency. A real integrated microcosm, a celebration of biodiversity that gives excellent products such as wine, olive oil, honey, cereals, flours, vegetables and precious fruit.
Joaquin is a project that was born in 1999 thanks to Raffaele Pagano’s passion for the world of wine, a generational heritage handed down from grandfather to father and from father to son. The first step was the acquisition of the land in Montefalcione where the winery was then built.
The leitmotiv of the company has always been to produce wine following an extreme parcelling of the vineyards. Working in Irpinia, in the localities of Lapio and Paternopoli, vocated to the production of fiano and aglianico, and in Montefusco for the occasional production of a label of greco, allowed the production of wines of the highest quality from individual parcels of very small vineyards, sometimes less than a hectare, used to create all the references that today bear the name of their place of origin.
The first harvest took place in 2006, the resulting wine was ” IVIAGGI “, a name that represented the beginning of a journey, and was an Aglianico from the Paternopoli vineyard vinified in white.
A thousand years ago, San Leonardo was a monastery. For the past three centuries, it has been the residence of the Marchesi Guerrieri Gonzaga, its proud and devoted custodians. The tenuta comprises 300 hectares, of which 30 are organically-cultivated vineyards, protected from the cold northern winds by the surrounding Trentino mountains, while benefitting from the temperate breezes from Lake Garda. Here, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Merlot thrive. These are the varieties used in the production of San Leonardo, the estate’s symbolic wine, and Terre di San Leonardo, its second vin, noted for its great freshness and harmony. The refined Villa Gresti is made from a blend of Merlot and Camenère, while the oldest vines gift a remarkable Carmenère monovarietal.
MASCIARELLI Tenute Agricole was born in 1981 from the entrepreneurial intuition of Gianni Masciarelli, a symbolic figure of the Italian wine scene and protagonist of the affirmation of modern Abruzzo viticulture. The company has reached the milestone of forty years of activity during which it has established itself among the most prestigious companies in the Italian and international wine scene. Today it is run by Miriam Lee Masciarelli and Marina Cvetic, Gianni’s daughter and wife respectively. Based in San Martino sulla Marrucina (CH), the company produces wine, extra virgin olive oil and other specialties; in addition, through Gianni’s Selection, it distributes wines from the most interesting enological areas of Europe in Italy. Masciarelli stands out for its work in the name of respect for the environment and the right balance between modernity and tradition. Emblematic in this sense is also the opening after a long conservative restoration of the seventeenth-century Castello di Semivicoli, a wine resort among the vineyards.
Villa Sandi is an iconic Prosecco producer and is owned by the Moretti Polegato family, for generations part of the long tradition of vine-growing on the Treviso area hills. A family whose history is deeply rooted in a land extraordinarily well suited to vine growing. The winery symbol is a Palladian villa dating back to 1622, representing the combination between art and agriculture which characterized the Venetian landscape of past centuries. The link between the magnificence of Venice and the countryside, the area known as “ Garden of Venice”.
Castello di Albola is a medieval hamlet located in Tuscany in the heart of the Chianti region, an area with a high wine vocation appreciated worldwide for its prestigious wines.
The estate’s vineyards, a true asset for the local culture, are located in areas characterized by steep slopes, between 350 and 650 meters above sea level, that benefit from significant temperature ranges and an ideal microclimate for the production of excellent wines. This is the curious reason why wine enthusiasts call them “Wines of Altitude.”
Here, the high product quality meets sustainability: Castello di Albola draws up a Sustainability Report every year, with the aim of reporting on the activities carried out in this field, describing the achieved objectives and the adopted plans for improvements.
The Langhe is one of the world’s best-known winemaking areas; situated in Southern Piedmont, it is a land of castles and magnifi cent vineyards, awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2014. This stunning area is home to the Fortemasso winery, in the municipality of Monforte d’Alba: a charming, recently renovated property, perfectly incorporated into the surrounding vineyard landscape. The five hectares of estate-owned vineyards devoted to the production of Barolo DOCG and Barolo Riserva DOOCG are situated around the winery, within the area of the Castelletto Menzione Geografica Aggiuntiva (MGA). Some vineyards located in San Sebastiano di Monforte d’Alba have recently become part of the estate: three hectares of vineyard devoted to the production of Langhe Nebbiolo DOC, Barbera d’Alba DOC and Dolcetto d’Alba DOC. Fortetmasso is one of the five wineries that are part of the Agricole Gussalli Beretta group.