When Wine Agreed
WHEN WE DECIDED TO PLANT THE VINE,
WE SIMPLY AGREED WITH THE LAND.
I have lived in Panzano in Chianti since 1989, combining work and passion, and have always loved this area. My father and I would frequent this area during my childhood, taking long walks together; he even taught me to ride here. Since then I have been attracted to the Chianti countryside and fascinated by its lifestyle and culture. Here, horses and vineyards are integral parts of the landscape and I cannot imagine this place without them.
When we decided to plant vines, we simply agreed with the land. The five hectares of vineyards, closely spaced rows of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot, were planted following a careful analysis of the terrain. They were planted in the sunniest, highest areas of the estate, at elevations ranging from 400-450 m above sea level. My vineyard faces entirely south, and is planted on fairly firm soil that is rich in galestro, a local rock type which is well drained. This is the perfect terrain for producing well structured wines of great depth, with considerable intensity and character, and a marked mineral component.
My flagship wine is an IGT Toscana called Cavalli Tenuta degli Dei, made from Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Petit Verdot (25%) and Cabernet Franc (15%) and produced to fill about 23,000 bottles. Le Redini is a young soft red, introduced with the 2008 vintage, and almost entirely Merlot (90%), with the addition of some Alicante. Both are produced following exacting, almost maniacal standards of the sort that are inevitable when one wants to bring only the best possible grapes into the cellars. Work in the vineyard is continuous and done entirely by hand: from counting the number of buds, to tilling of the land, to green harvesting. Every operation is aimed at bringing just a few bunches, usually totalling about a kilo per vine to perfect ripeness.
We chose to match the elegance of French grapes to the elegance and the tradition of the Panzano in Chianti’s territory. I do not use any modern technology but try to process each phase of the production with the approach of an artisan, only determined to get the best quality and supported by a great passion. Each grape is harvested by hand, vinificated and aged separately; only the best parts result in the final blends. Once they reach the winery, the grapes, divided by vineyard parcel, are put through two selections where we remove imperfect berries are removed together with all traces of leaves and stems. The grapes selected are dropped by gravity into temperature-controlled vertical steel fermentation tanks.
The newly fermented wines are aged into one and two-year-old barriques and tonneaux made from French oak. They undergo malolactic fermentation, and mature for 16-18 months in the case of the wine destined to become Cavalli Tenuta degli Dei, and about 10 months in the case of a younger wine. It is only then that the wines are assembled. Once bottled, Cavalli Tenuta degli Dei matures for another 14-16 months in the bottle, and Le Redini four to six months. Only then they are ready to measure themselves with the world markets.