Hello all and welcome back to Uncork Italy! We’ve been away for a few weeks, doing tours in Florence, Chianti & Bolgheri but we’re finally ready to share with you the latest winery to join the Uncork Italy team.
Since we started Uncork Italy, we have been tracing the life of the vine as we interview different winemakers in regions across Tuscany. We explored Chianti Classico, Super Tuscans in Bolgheri and now, with the harvest, we bring to you Montalcino with part 1 of the harvest.
To read all our previous newsletters and see the videos connected to them, click here and use the password “TUSCANY” to gain access to both the blogs and the videos.
Watch the Video
Meet Laura, one of the owners of Tenuta di Collosorbo in Montalcino – a winery run entirely by women.
This is a territory that produces one of Italy’s most famous wines: Brunello di Montalcino. Montalcino is a medieval village in the Val d’Orcia region of southern Tuscany, characterised by rolling hills, varied terrain and warmer temperatures than the chianti region.
Brunello di Montalcino was the first wine to receive DOCG status in Italy in 1980 (we talked about wine labels back in week 4 of Uncork Italy).
So what’s the special grape of this region? Sangiovese. Yep. The same Sangiovese that is the star of Chianti Classico! So what’s different?
A specific clone: In the mid 1800’s a winemaker isolated the clone of San Giovese (known as Sangiovese Grosso or “big Sangiovese” since the grapes are larger than the clone grown in Chianti Classico) that grew best in the region around Montalcino which is typically used today so while it’s the same grape, it’s a slightly different version. That wine maker’s grandson would be Ferruccio Biondi-Santi, maker of one of the most famed Brunellos to this day.
Varied terrain: Montalcino has extremely varied terrain with different soils even within the same vineyard (check out the video for more details on the soil and to see the intense color differences between different areas of the vineyard!).
Age: These wines are made for ageing. To be a Brunello, the wine must age for 4 years (A Brunello reserve is 5 years) and some Brunello’s can be kept for half a century, evolving into elegant and sophisticated meditation wines.
Tenuta di Collosorbo – a woman run winery
Tenuta di Collosorbo is the third of the wineries we have featured this year run by women but it’s the first run by two generations – the mom boss Giovanna (“the mother is the boss in every Italian family,” we are reminded in the video) and her daughters Laura the enologist and Lucia the sales expert.
Laura showed us around the property herself and it was clear to see the passion and care she brought to the family estate as she repeated a fundamental tenant to winemaking that we’d heard over and over in our exploration of small Tuscan wine makers.
“You need to understand the territory and the soil,” she told us. “If you simply use a pesticide to destroy one predator you create another. It’s all a chain. If you understand it, nature will give you the answers of how to find the balance. You can’t decide this in an office, nature is the true teacher.”
Buy Uncork Italy Wines for the holiday season
We hate to be those “Halloween is over, let’s think about December holidays” kind of people buuuuut we are. And one reason is the amount of time it takes to ship wine direct. So if you’re thinking of bringing a special Italian wine to a holiday dinner or setting up a private wine tasting with us, don’t wait too long to put in your order!
When you buy wine through Uncork Italy you are getting the opportunity to buy wine direct from the producers and we even throw in a small discount. Some of our winemakers don’t even sell in the US yet but through us, you’ll get their wine delivered straight to your door.
We offer all the wines from the producers we have interviewed this year: three very different Chianti Classico wines, one Bolgheri Super Tuscan producer, and coming in the next weeks: Collosorbo. (If you’re interested in Collosorbo before we put it up on the site, just shoot us an email!)
We’ll dive into the details of the harvest with part 2 of the video which takes us into the cellar!