The Natural Art of Tuscan Wine
Location: Between Cerreto Guidi and Vinci (Montalbano Hills), Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
Owners and Winemakers: Marco Filipello & Giuseppe Pluchino
Vineyard Area: 12 hectares, estate-owned
Vineyard Management: Certified Organic (2004) and Biodynamic (2009)
Soils: Chalk and Sandstone
Main Varieties: Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet, with supportive quantities of Malvasia, Vermentino and Canaiolo
Winemaking: reds fermented in concrete vats and aged in oak barrels, sparkling wines made with secondary fermentation in the bottle. Spontaneous fermentation only, no fining. Everything happens in accordance with biodynamic principles,
including moon phases.
Annual Production (approx.): 40,000 bottles
- Poggiosecco was founded in 1967 and has been part of the Consorzio del Chianti ever since
- In 2001, the winery set about restructuring toward organic and biodynamic farming for both their wine and olive production
- Marco & Guiseppe follow biodynamic principles very closely both in the vineyard and in the cellar, from respecting the calendar and moon phases through the minimal treatments and plant infusions used
- The literal translation of Poggiosecco is ‘dry slope’, a fitting name for the
estate’s well-drained soils
- The Sangiovese grape variety derives its name from “the blood of Jupiter”
Alas, what are poor grapes to do when faced with such a weight of art history on their very local shoulders? (You might have heard of a certain Leonardo da Vinci.) Well, they do what they’ve always done best: form a partnership with winemakers who know how to get the most from them. For Azienda Agricola Poggiosecco, a Chianti winery located between the Renaissance gems of Siena and Florence, the finest results come from respecting natural cycles and intervening as little as possible.
This 16-hectares estate is situated on well-drained soils (the literal translation of Poggiosecco is ‘dry slope’) of the Montalbano Hills, where it cultivates the classic Tuscan combo of vines (12ha) and olive trees (4ha). Both the olive and the grape are treated to a meticulous biodynamic regime, something the owners Marco and Guiseppe consider “the only possible way of farming considering the historical context in which we live.”
They set on this path in 2001, gaining organic certification in 2004 and biodynamic in 2009, and not looking back ever since. “Biodynamics establishes a unique balance in the soil and allows for the maximum expression and independence of each plant, making use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, etc. completely unnecessary,” they explain how they manage to steer clear of systemic treatments or irrigation.
All the natural treatments (green and cow manure, herbal tisanes, small amounts of copper and sulfur) happen following the biodynamic calendar and the phases of the moon, with great attention to detail: for example, the removal of old vines and branches takes place with a rising moon along with incineration and reintroduction of the ashes, whereas pruning is done when the moon is in a descending phase when the plant faces a lot of gravitational pressure, and thus has little sap, and this way the cutting wounds heal more easily.
Spoiled with such natural care, the local grape celebrity called Sangiovese, as well as its indigenous white pals Vermentino and Malvasia di Candia, can only thrive. With a similarly respectful approach in the cellar (spontaneous fermentation only, no fining, very little sulfur additions), the estate produces some of the best value natural Chiantis and sparkling wines you will find in this famed area, convincing you that in Tuscany, art is everywhere, including the grapes’ DNA.
Ginestreto Rosso IGT: — Back to the top
Grapes: 70% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot
Vineyard: 40 years old vines on sandstone and chalk
Making of: The grapes are harvested by hand, gently destemmed, and co-fermented. Clarification by decantation only. The wine then ages for 3 months in cement tanks and further 3 months in bottles before release.
Personality: The color is intense with hints of prunes and a delicate presence of licorice. A cool balance between the structure of the Sangiovese and the softness and freshness of Merlot, heaps of ripe dark fruit with hints of . Cuts across a wide range of dishes, including those bread or pasta-based.
Chianti — Back to the top
Grapes: Sangiovese 90%, Malvasia Nera 10%
Vineyard: 10+yo old vines on chalk and sandstone
Making of: Once manually harvested, the grapes are gently destemmed and crushed and then undergo fermentation with indigenous yeasts. Frequent pumping for greater extraction of tannins and polyphenols. Clarification is done by decantation only, no fining product used. The wine then ages for 12 months in cement tanks and further 6 months in bottles before release.
Personality: A fine Chianti, bright ruby red in color, fruity yet embracing a hint of cloves. Tuscan cuisine is, naturally, the perfect accompaniment, but it will be perfect with all kinds of cold cuts, mild cheeses or grilled vegetables.
Sangiovese — Back to the top
Age of Vines: 15 years old
Yield: 40 Hectoliters/hectare
Elevation: 300 Meters
Soil: Clay and limestone
Varieties: 100 % Sangiovese
Vinification Method: Hand harvested, grapes are destemmed and fermented in 120-hectoliter Cement tanks for about 25 days with indigenous yeast. The wine goes into barrel for elevage, where batonnage is performed. Sulfur is added at bottling to a total of 60 mg/liter. The wine is unfiltered and is not clarified.
Malvasia Bianca — Back to the top
Age of Vines: 25 years old
Yield: 20 Hectoliters/hectare
Elevation: 200 Meters
Soil: Clay and limestone
Varieties: 100 % Malvasia Bianca Toscana
Vinification Method: Hand harvested, grapes are destemmed and fermented in 25-hectoliter Cement tanks for about 25 days with indigenous yeast. The wine sits on the skins for 36-48 hours. The wine goes into 20-hectoliter cement tanks for elevage. Sulfur is added at bottling to a total of 60 mg/liter. The wine is unfiltered and is not clarified.
Etrah Sparkling — Back to the top
Grapes: Vermentino, Malvasia
Vineyard: limestone and clay soils, planted end of the 1990s
Making of: The grapes hand-harvested and gently pressed. Spontaneous fermentation in cement tanks; the wine is then bottled unfiltered, with the addition of fresh must to allow for the second fermentation in the bottle. Undisgorged as the lees in the bottle help to retain the wine’s vitality.
Personality: clean, intense, with smooth mouthfeel (courtesy of the lees) and rich citrusy flavor. Great for aperitivo or companion to all kinds of fish and seafood dishes.
Rosato — Back to the top
Grapes: Sangiovese and Merlot
Vineyard: certified organic, clay and sandstone
Making of: hand-harvested. After 24-36 hours on skins, the grapes are softly pressed and spontaneously fermented, for about 20 days. At the end of fermentation, the wine is racked and remains on its fine lees. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Personality: light pink color with a little haze, delicate aroma of flowers and red fruits, good acidity and a pleasant finish – friendly, easy-drinking rosé for any occasion.