The 2022 Golden Vines® Awards will be held October 15-17 in Florence

The 2022 Golden Vines® – a definitive fine wine experience for 275+ guests will be held in Florence, Italy, for three days October 15-17 2022.

There were 450 wine professionals from 55 countries who voted for last year’s winners. This year’s event in Florence will have over 275 guests over a period of four days, and will feature wines & spirits from Dom Pérignon, Krug, Trimbach, Château Cheval Blanc, Solaia, Emidio Pepe, Taylor’s Port, Château d’Yquem, Hennessy Cognac and The Macallan.

The Oscar’s style awards ceremony & dinner to celebrate the world’s best fine wine producers & industry legends will be held at Salone dei Cinquecento, Palazzo Vecchio.

The three-day event will also feature:

  • 3 Michelin Star fine dining experience prepared by Chef Massimo Bottura and Osteria Francescana team
  • 500+ bottles of fine wine & rare spirits from Dom Pérignon P1 & P2, Trimbach Clos Sainte Hune,Château Cheval Blanc Château d’Yquem & The Macallan
  • Marc Almert @marc_almert, The 2019 ASI Best Sommelier of the World as well as The 2020 Michelin Sommelier of the Year, as The Golden Vines® Head Sommelier
  • The Golden Vines® Fine Wine, Rare Spirit & Experience Global Online Charity Auction with 100+ Auction Lots
  • The Zachys Fine WineGolden Vines® Live Auction

The target for The 2022 Golden Vines® is to raise over £1.2 million for the Gérard Basset Foundation – to fund education, learning & career opportunities for young wine professionals with a focus on global diversity, equity & inclusion-related wine, spirits & hospitality industry education programs.

PLUS:  A Gala Dinner celebrating The Golden Vines® Scholars, featuring:

  • Davide Oldani, 2 Michelin star chef of D’O, and Matteo Lorenzini, 1 Michelin star chef of Osteria di Passignano
  • Entertainment by Alessandro Ristori & The Portofinos
  • Masterclasses with Hennessy, Dom Pérignon, Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, István Szepsy, & 4 leading Brunello di Montalcino vineyards

As well as other Private Tours, Tastings & Lunches, featuring over 500 bottles of wine from Marchesi Antinori, Emidio Pepe, KRUG ChampagneRuinart, and Richard Hennessy.

The 2022 Golden Vines®  are sponsored by:

Marchesi Antinori

Artémis Domaines

Castiglion del Bosco Winery

Dom Pérignon

Casa Ferreirinha

Gucci

Hennessy

The Macallan

Octavian

RIEDEL – THE WINE GLASS COMPANY

Robb Report

Gruppo Sanpellegrino

SGC Wine Estates

Taylor’s Port

VistaJet

Zachys Fine Wine

 

Registration and additional information about the 2022 Golden Vines® Awards can be found here: https://lnkd.in/e6Gf5hRg

 

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Chianti Classico, A Wine Tourism Destination Par Excellence – Filippo Magnani

An indissoluble partnership between wine production and tourism.

Tuscany is one of the most popular destinations for wine enthusiasts and a few other places stimulate a traveler’s thoughts and imagination as much as the Chianti Classico region.

This stunning wine region is a succession of gentle hills, dotted with vineyards rolling away into the horizon between Florence and Siena. An unspoiled landscape, where the presence of human activity plays an integral role in the extraordinary harmony of nature and skill. The fruits of this region have made it quite treasured along with the passion of great governors, noble administrators, artists, poets, men of science and agricultural talents. The history of these people can be read in the neat rows of vines and cypresses, the olive groves, the charming villages and in the stones of the castles, enabling us to remember and share the history and beauty of “Chianti Classico”. To really discover this place, you will need a guide – and the wine is undoubtedly an ideal and important witness to the fascinating history of the development of Chianti Classico.

Wine Escape – Chianti Classico

Along with the other leading wine production areas in Tuscany today, Chianti Classico is an extraordinary gateway to a deep and intimate knowledge of the roots of our culture and lifestyle. The area’s history has always been inextricably linked to wine production. Nature and people have grown together in an indissoluble relationship of respect and reward, bringing the Chianti Classico territory to life. If you wish to be immersed in the aromas and flavours of great food and wine tradition you will find Chianti Classico an ideal destination: It is a leading national tourist and wine tourism destination, chosen by visitors from all over the world for the wide variety of experiences linked to fine food and wine, with wine taking the leading role. A destination that represents an ecosystem of services focused on wine, some tangible, and others less so, but all of them engaging. Today’s “wine tourists” decide to visit an area not only for its great, historic wines, but also to make memories, experience the flavours of a local osteria, the aromas of the cellars and the smiles of grandmothers on their doorsteps. Journeys that are more immersive, making intimate and personal contact with traditions, culture, and people. In this respect, the concept of terroir expands to “winescape” in order to better express its connection to the region. This is why it is important to analyze and understand the factors that make Chianti Classico a wine tourism destination.

Chianti Classico – a kaleidoscope of organized and structured wine tourism opportunities.

Along the beautiful, winding roads of Chianti Classico, the winery doors are always open for visits and tastings. This is an area with a high density of wineries, a true oenological paradise, full of castles, ancient abbeys, where fine wines are matured, world-famous wineries alongside small and no less prestigious family-run estates, traditional cellars, and architectural masterpieces. A setting in which hospitality and associated experiences take on various forms, with all kinds of proposals and wine tourism activities. The producers understand the importance of hospitality: it has great economic value in terms of diversifying income, as well as being an effective means of communicating values and enhancing distribution of their wines. From curious wine enthusiasts to collectors, guests want to visit the famous winemaking names of Chianti and discover hidden gems of the highest quality. From groups belonging to private wine clubs and sommelier associations to restaurateurs, wine tourism in the Chianti Classico region embraces an increasingly varied public.

The reputation – wine tourists are extremely interested in visiting the locations of great and famous Chianti Classico wines.

The wine with the Black Rooster emblem is among the most widely marketed and recognized labels in the world. In over 130 countries, there is not a restaurant, wine shop or wine bar that does not offer the wines of this designation. Over the last 20 years, Chianti Classico has become one of the leading socio-economic systems in Tuscany, both in terms of the volume of wine produced, and its quality. Vintage, Riserva and Gran Selezione are the categories in a specific hierarchical scale, in terms of price and value. These wines express an indissoluble link between a par excellence product and the territory of origin. The designation is home to an incredible variety of unique microclimates that are particularly suitable for growing vines. In recent years the consortium and local producers have carried out important research aiming to outline the mosaic of Chianti Classico for consumers in the best possible way. The most recent addition are the UGAs (Additional Geographical Units). Eleven production areas that will be able to show the specific provenance of their wines on the label. It should be emphasized that the global success of wine and its positioning on the markets constantly influences the choice of many tourists traveling to discover the best-known wine-producing areas, who choose the Chianti Classico territory as their preferred destination.

A wine tourism region that goes beyond wine.

Anyone seeking to truly immerse themselves in wine tourism in the Chianti area can choose from a variety of accommodation options and, naturally, from a growing number of complementary tourist services well equipped and organized for such trips. Among various forms and categories, Chianti Classico is the preferred place to ‘sleep between the rows’, in fact, more and more wineries are deciding to open their estates, renovating existing buildings or constructing new ones, to become true wine resorts in various categories, providing every possible comfort and offering visitors an exclusive and unforgettable experience. The growing presence of this new concept of accommodation reflects the tendency of this wine-producing area to adapt in order to accommodate tourists who want to spend more time in the hills and vineyards. Wine resorts are top-quality locations: different types of structures, closely linked to the wineries, which interpret the most typical aspects of the winery in their own way. A place to lose yourself and relax with outdoor activities or in the spas and wellness centres. The roads branching out from the wineries can also be explored by bicycle, offering another opportunity to enter the magic of the vineyards, places to visit in every season, combining wellness and exploration of the area. And for those who love the outdoors, there are trekking routes of varying levels of difficulty. Lastly, all routes lead to the table, since food is the twin brother of wine. For the gourmand traveler, the timeless charm of Chianti Classico can be experienced through the area’s great culinary tradition, with a richly varied constellation of appetizing opportunities. From San Casciano to Greve, from Panzano to Castellina, from Radda and Gaiole to Castelnuovo Berardenga, a succession of family-run hostelries alternates with the great award-winning restaurants: a true food and wine territory, rich in opportunities to learn more about cuisine by participating in cooking courses organized in the area’s most exclusive and hidden locations. It should be stressed that the Chianti Classico wine tourism area is not limited to wine-related activities and the destination is enriched with many complementary experiences: visiting historic buildings and museums or devoting sunny days to excursions through nature and villages, to discover local craft products. In a context of increasing tourism development linked to an excellent territory, open to change, another important aspect is the added value of technology. A global and interconnected world opens up an incredible opportunity to intensify and spread word of the area’s appeal. Communication tools and channels are extremely important for the increasingly varied target visitors. Chianti Classico wineries have grasped the significance of this progress and invested in new ways of promoting and marketing the “wine tourism product”. So, alongside traditional methods, such as working with agencies and tour operators, real wine tourism marketplaces have been created among producers: online platforms that sell, describe, and create attractive winery experiences and wine trips for the consumer. Another good example of how the Consortium has opened-up to digital implementation is the Chianti Classico Card, intended as a user-friendly pass-partout to access hundreds of memorable activities.

The aesthetics of the landscape and layering of traditions – a cultural identity of Chianti Classico.

The appearance of Chianti Classico is the result of centuries of history. The beauty of the area’s vineyards and its considerable natural resources have been known since the dawn of time. This landscape has always coexisted with its people. A place loved by the Etruscans, then by the Romans, and a battlefield of bitter disputes in the Middle Ages, the territory preserves evidence of the passage of many cultures. The earliest documentation of the existence of a wine-producing district and territorial administration dates back to the 13th century with the “Lega del Chianti”, formalized between Radda, Gaiole and Castellina and branded with the famous Black Rooster which, after many glorious years, became the official symbol of Chianti Classico wine in 2005. The notion of the area’s inestimable value has been reinforced in recent years through the proposal of Chianti Classico as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to the institutional activity of the Foundation for the Protection of the Territory of Chianti Classico Onlus, of which the Consortium is a founding member. At the same time, the same bodies, along with local administrations, have achieved another goal: the establishment of the “Distretto Rurale del Chianti”, aiming to preserve the cultural and aesthetic component of the landscape, to promote economic, social and tourist integration. These concepts acquired greater value with the onset of the pandemic. Undeniably, already fashionable themes such as environmental sustainability were foregrounded in discussions during the lockdown, so operators are paying close attention also in the sectors of wine production and wine tourism.

Symbols that represent the fine quality products of the area.

Between the Elsa and Pesa rivers, the Chianti Classico area is a destination with a very precise identity, essential but richly significant. It’s impossible to mention Chianti Classico without immediately encountering the famous Black Rooster, which symbolizes the spirit of the territory. Strong and elegant, lively, and proud, its crowing marks a new day. Once the symbol used by the “Antica Lega del Chianti” it was taken up in 1924 by the Consortium, because it clearly represents the very soul of this area: beauty and splendor combined with dedication to hard work. Alongside the Black Rooster are other identifying elements that appeal to the imagination of visitors: long roads flanked by rows of cypress trees, powerful-looking castles crowning hills strewn with vineyards, abbeys hidden among the olive groves and, finally, Medieval villages separated by the exquisite and gentle Chianti hills. The narrative of this land, a paradise of grapes and olive trees, is enriched by numerous citations in film, publishing, and painting. When desire and imagination are translated into a journey, visitors are catapulted into a riot of taste and beauty – the beauty found in the quality of excellent products and the charm of the landscape, thanks to the constant presence and influence of people in this area.

Traditions, locations, and events to promote wine tourism.
Wine tours in Chianti Classico are not limited to visits and tastings but consist of a fully rounded experience open to everyone. Every year, in autumn, the famous “Eroica” race takes place: a cycling competition with vintage bikes that brings professionals and enthusiasts together from all over the world. This is a unique opportunity for participants to get to know and admire the many locations along the route. The sport has authentic, popular roots which also echo the values of agriculture, such as the appeal of hard work and the great flavour of enterprise. The competition crosses a number of meeting points within the Chianti Classico territory. Vineyards and wine thus opening a window onto the local culture in general.

Other activities in Chianti Classico include art and music, learning about local traditions, environmental sustainability and above all food culture. There is a place that encompasses all of these – the “Casa del Chianti Classico” inside the convent of Santa Maria al Prato in Radda in Chianti. This true cultural and educational centre is another splendid example of promotion of the geographical area. The “house” offers visitors an informative and in-depth tour of wine and oil production in Chianti Classico, and much more. The space is used for training meetings and events. If booked in advance, it can also offer cooking classes with leading figures from the Tuscan culinary scene.

In the towns of the Black Rooster area, numerous local festivals take place throughout the year. One of these is Expo Chianti Classico, which has been uniting producers and wine lovers in Greve in Chianti since the 1970s: an unmissable opportunity to explore all aspects of wine and get up close and personal with the winegrowers and their wines.

This is also the case for the Chianti Classico Collection, the cornerstone of wine and oil promotion. The event takes place in Florence, usually in February, and is the flagship event of the area. The so-called Chianti Classico Previews organized by the Consortium give journalists, trade operators and even wine-lovers the opportunity to try the new vintages being launched on the market, directly from the hands of the producers.

Locals – everyone who meets you before, during and after your trip to Chianti Classico.
In a memorable journey the people we meet play a fundamental role. People are the key element of a travel experience in wine tourism destinations such as Chianti Classico. The unfolding of an itinerary, a path towards a better awareness of the place being explored, inevitably passes through the eyes, words, and testimonies of those who welcome or simply spend time with the tourist. Tourists demand has become increasingly variable today. This means the proposals must also be increasingly varied in to order to satisfy the visitors’ every desire and expectation. A great natural and productive heritage is no longer enough: the territory must be described and above all experienced in a real and professional way. We must seek contact with the community, through visits to small towns (villages above all) and the chance to experience a direct, unmediated relationship with the inhabitants and their lifestyle. All those playing a part in the tourism and hospitality sector must, in a subjective and personal way, respect and assimilate the vision of a growing and developing a territory, united in its values and objectives, and pass it on to others. With fierce international competitors there is no longer any room for mediocrity and improvisation, and the same applies to the production and promotion of wine. From this perspective, it is essential to offer quality training and, above all, work as a “system” to be able to grow more organically (including at an international level) and adopt an all-around approach to defining and implementing rules for the entire sector. In this regard, the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium is working hard, playing a leading role in raising awareness of the great interest being shown in this area. The objective is to always provide excellent quality offers and focus on hospitality services that can communicate the experience of the Black Rooster area to visitors.

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#vineyards #sommelier #wine #wineexperience #wine #winelovers #italianwine #visititaly
#wanderlust #travelpic #travelgram #exploring #italianwinelovers

Biondi Santi – The Evolution of a Wine Legend, by Filippo Magnani

 

On July 8th I was thrilled to be invited to the estate of the renowned Brunello producer, Biondi Santi. I also had the pleasure to taste their magnificent wines. It has been a great honor for me to be back in the place where the legendary Brunello di Montalcino has been created.

In the year of 1999, which was at the beginning of my career, I met the legendary Franco Biondi Santi in front of the 18th-century villa Tenuta Greppo. To this day, it is still a significant point of reference for my working and personal life in the world of wine.

At that time [1999], I was a young boy with a drawer full of dreams.

I was welcomed at the beautiful entrance, of the wine estate, by Mr Franco Biondi Santi and I immediately perceived his humanity and kindness. For me, he was a passionate teacher, elegant and very enthusiastic. A charismatic man. After several years, I am back there with my team. We were welcomed by Sabine Cappelli from hospitality, and Lene Lundvald Bucelli from marketing and communications. They guided us into the discovery of the innovations of the estate, transmitting the same humanity and kindness that has always distinguished the Biondi-Santi family.

An endless success of “Great Men with a Vision”

There is an indissoluble thread between the success of one of the most important wine territories in the world such as Brunello di Montalcino and the history of the Biondi Santi family. The line of a dynasty of brilliant men; charismatic and visionary figures who have always been able to look forward. Masters of winemaking that managed to keep up the family name and their traditions. They’ve always taken care of their beloved territory of Montalcino. It was first the revolutionary intuition of Clemente Santi that in the 1850 decided to plant the Sangiovese variety at Montalcino. The name Biondi Santi comes from the will of his grandson Ferruccio, son of Caterina Santi (Clemente’s daughter) and Jacopo Biondi, to keep the grandfather name. Clemente and Ferruccio shared the same love for viticulture and vinification. The name Brunello di Montalcino (with capital B) on the label was first seen in 1888 under the guidance of the latter. Ferruccio Biondi Santi also noticed the robust character of the Sangiovese Grosso grape and decided to vinify it on its own to produce wine suitable for aging.

Another turning point was in 1966 when Tancredi (Ferruccio’s son) established the specification when the DOC was created for the Brunello di Montalcino (then upgraded Docg in 1980). The other brilliant visionary of the last century was Franco Biondi Santi (1922-2013) who learned from his ancestors the fine art of vinification. As a wine producer he meticulously continued the growing practices and further enhanced the already cult wine of Montalcino. He carried on the study begun by Ferruccio and continued by Tancredi on the research of a grape that was the most resistant to the cryptogams that were affecting their vines. The selection process concluded with the identification of the clone known as BBS11: which stands for Brunello Biondi Santi with the 11 corresponding to the chosen mother plant. Biondi Santi is the only producer to have given its name to a grape clone.

After many years and long tradition in the wine production, the new generations of the family, Jacopo Biondi Santi and his son Tancredi Biondi Santi initiated a major change and evolution for Tenuta Greppo, welcoming a new partner in the leading of the estate to be able to continue the enduring commitment of producing outstanding wines. Today the winery is under the guidance of Christopher Descours, proprietor of the EPI Group, who leads hand in hand with an extremely qualified Italian team. An important strategic alliance driven by the great respect for the bicentenary know-how in the vine growing and by the common goal of reaffirming once again Biondi-Santi among the most special and desired wines in the world. The vision of the new partner was endorsed immediately by Giampiero Bertolini who was appointed as CEO in November 2018 standing at the helm of the historic winery today. 

Vineyards and Soils

Since 2018, huge investments have been made. The new partnership carried on the scientific research of Franco, who introduced a rigorous study on the parcellation both in the vineyards and in the winery depending on the age of the vines.  It shows the extraordinary effort of the leaders of the estates to try to understand and develop their beloved terroir. An accurate examination in the professional hands of the agronomist Pietro Parra starting from the analysis of the vineyards, and taking a fresh approach to the terroir. He has been able to fully map the characteristics of all the different types of soil and exposition. The estate today is comprised of 47 hectares. All the grapes are from different vineyards that extend between the four historical sites Tenuta Greppo, I Pieri, Scarnacuoia, Pievecchia and the new acquisition Ribusuoli.

“Tenuta Greppo”, is the main block around the winery, 560 metres above sea level. It is situated on a 26-hectare, coming from a massal selection of the oldest vines of the property dating back to 1930, the majority of them are BBS11 clones (Brunello Biondi Santi 11).

“I Pieri”, east of Montalcino, sitting at 370 metres altitude with a cool east-facing exposure, like Greppo, are poor, calcareous soils with a high marl content.

“The Scarnacuoia” on the west of the village Montalcino, at 450 metres altitude with old-terraced vineyards separated by dry stone walls.

“Pievecchia”, the lowest lying site, at 200 metres altitude with a cool, airy, north facing exposure. The soil here has a higher clay content.

“Ribusuoli”, is a plot acquired at the end of 2019 at an altitude of 380-450 metres, not far from Tenuta Greppo, with very similar soils and exposures.

Biondi-Santi is committed to respecting the environment and safeguarding biodiversity. Today, as in the past, the vineyards are not treated with any invasive chemical agents.

The Winery and its Wines 

New concrete and oak vats were purchased to maintain the winery’s tradition of the use of concrete for fermentation and Slavonian oak for ageing. The grapes are destemmed and crushed upon arrival at the winery. Only indigenous yeasts are used for fermentation of the riserva. The process takes place in oak vats, unlike the regular Brunello, which ferments in concrete vats. Federico Radi, the technical Director in charge of the wine production, is focused on continuing the balance between tradition and innovation. Biondi-Santi produces three wines, all crafted with Sangiovese Grosso: Rosso di Montalcino; Brunello di Montalcino; and Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. All three wines are bound together by a distinctive style, driven by a signature freshness, which makes them vibrant, and a specific balance which makes them elegant and very suitable for long ageing in the bottle.

My tasting at Biondi-Santi, Tenuta Greppo  on the 8th of July 2021

Rosso di Montalcino Doc 2018
The Rosso di Montalcino 2018 was produced exclusively from Biondi Santi proprietary vineyards and aged in Slavonian oak barrels for 12 months and released on the market after 3 years from the harvest.

100% Sangiovese Grosso – Alcohol 13%

Notes:
Brillant medium ruby core with compact rim. Expressive flavour of strawberry, blueberries, and violet mixed with scents of rhubarb and mint. Lively red fruit in the palate with abundant freshness and well-integrated tannins. Elegant and lingering finish. Charming wine with ageing potential.

Brunello di Montalcino Docg 2015
The 2015 Brunello was produced exclusively with a selection of grapes from Biondi Santi proprietary vineyards, then aged in Slavonian oak barrels for 3 years and released on the market after 6 years from the harvest. For the first time in history Biondi-Santi, this wine was produced in 750 ml and Magnum bottles.

100% Sangiovese Grosso – Alcohol 14,5%

Notes:
Bright deep ruby core with narrow rim. The wine expresses intense aromas of black cherry and plum mixed with scents of chocolate and fresh tobacco. The palate is balanced, the acidity matches perfectly with the soft tannins and with the alcohol. Harmonious structure with long aftertaste. A beautiful wine.

Brunello di Montalcino Docg 2013 Riserva
The 2013 Riserva was produced exclusively with a selection of grapes from Biondi Santi proprietary vineyards comprising of the oldest parcels, then aged in Slavonian oak barrels for 3 years and released on the market after 7 years from the harvest.

Vintage 2013 is officially the 40th Riserva produced from 1888 until 2013. For the first time in history Biondi-Santi produced three large formats in addition to the 750 ml bottle: Magnum, Jéroboam and Mathusalem.

100% Sangiovese Grosso – Alcohol 13,5%

Notes:
Intense ruby core with paler reflections. Very complex nose showing aromas of red cherry and blackcurrant. Slightly meaty with overtones of cedar and leather. Vibrant, fresh palate with velvety tannins well matched with a lovely fruit and a lively acidity. Soft and persistent. An outstanding wine, clear expression of pure Sangiovese with long lasting life.

Brunello di Montalcino Docg 1983 Riserva  
The 1983 Riserva was produced with the Biondi Santi proprietary clone of Sangiovese Grosso called BBS11 (Brunello Biondi Santi 11), which was identified and selected by Biondi-Santi at Tenuta Greppo in the Seventies. For this wine were used only grapes from the oldest vines with over 25 years of age, then it was aged in Slavonian oak barrels for 3 years and released on the market generally after 7 years from the harvest. It benefited from a long refinement in the bottle in the quiet and darkness of “La Storica”, the bottle library at Tenuta Greppo where all the historic vintages of Biondi-Santi Riserva are scrupulously kept.

100% Sangiovese Grosso – Alcohol 13 %

Notes:
Clear, garnet colour with paler tinge. The nose shows a magnificent bouquet with scents of prune and fig with hints of mushroom and tobacco. Delicate entrance in the palate with medium body and silky tannins. It shows equilibrium and finesse. A gorgeous wine, showing the purity and the potential of one the greatest Sangiovese in the world.

Tenuta Greppo and its terroir are a place of perpetual balance. Each bottle produced is unique and alive, growing without hurry in its charming relationship with time. It is a wine that maintains not only the great quality that has always distinguished the company, but it also assumes unique features year by year. Prolonged bottle-ageing is then essential to allow the Biondi-Santi style to develop to its fullest. Longevity is in fact the most precious quality of these wines. “It is intriguing to think that in a sip Brunello di Montalcino there are hidden all of the three temporal dimensions: the past with the history of a family and their dedication to viticulture, study and research; the present with lively, complex and intense flavors; and the future, that lies in the ability to grow in character, both its wines and its representatives.” Here they’ve always seen beyond the horizon, setting ambitious objectives. Pioneers that created what is considered today the finest expression of the Tuscan wine style.

Biondi Santi is the spearhead of one world famous wine destination. Wine lovers and wine professionals arrive in Tuscany from all over the world for their exceptional wine travel experience.

 

 

#Biondisanti #wine #redwine #winelovers #instawine #winetravel #winetourism #italy #tuscany #tenutagreppo #behindthebottle #italianwine #italianwinelover #tuscanygram #Sangiovese #winetasting @biondisantigreppo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Anteprima 2021”- Wine Preview of Vernaccia di San Gimignano by Filippo Magnini 

“The ancient crowned hill through the eyes of the queen grape”

When you are in the direction of San Gimignano, in the heart of Tuscany, you cannot help but be enveloped by the magical atmosphere, you get catapulted into a fairy-tale. The hills of “Queen Vernaccia” crown the city of San Gimignano; at its foot lies the most fascinating and characteristic landscape of the Val d’Elsa. Impressive from a distance are the tips of the “crown”, a little Manhattan of the Middle Ages. The city of San Gimignano in the first centuries after 1000 AD was embellished with seventy towers and numerous palaces, built by the many wealthy families to display their wealth and power. Still today, the fourteen beautiful towers remain to characterize the city center and to make the unique and recognizable silhouette of the crowned hill. It is right inside the walls of the beautiful San Gimignano that every year we have the pleasure to taste the new vintages of wines made in this fascinating territory.

The event this year was different from the usual February schedule. The Anteprima Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2021, in fact, was a month-long event that started on Wednesday the 19th of May and closed on Monday the 14th of June. The first day was dedicated exclusively to the Italian and international press. For the occasion, the consortium chose two principal venues: the De Grada Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, where all the journalists and writers were called to taste and evaluate the latest vintages of the sixty-nine wines produced by thirty-four wineries (Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2020, Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2019, Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva 2018); and the Dante’s Chamber in the Town Hall for the 16th edition of the ‘White Wine and Its Territories’ series: “Vernaccia in Comedy”.  A choice linked to the tradition and history of Italy. In fact, this year is the 700th anniversary of the death of the poet Dante. The consortium has intertwined the main six female protagonists of Dante’s work and 6 characteristic white wines of the territory of San Gimignano. These six samples were chosen to be compared with as many wines from those that are among the major denominations for white wines: Alto Adige Valle Isarco Veltliner, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Orvieto Classico Superiore, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Blanc and Palette Blanc. A so-called ‘battle’ between elegant queens, in a magnificent hall that narrates through its frescoes the path of our life.

TASTING REPORT 

During my stay at San Gimignano, I blind-tasted all the wines, which were majestically presented by the Consorzio del Vino Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 (34 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Fattoria di Fugnano
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Da Fugnano 

Brillant with pale straw core and watery rim. Pronounced flavour of pineapple with peachy overtones. Dry and sapid with bright acidity. Well balanced with good fruit and harmonious finish.  I like this wine.

Winery:  Fattoria San Donato
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 

Pale yellow core with greenish hues. The nose is fresh and fruity with scents of lemon and apricot. Vibrant entrance with medium alcohol. Dry with good acidity and a fruity finish. Lovely wine.

Winery:  Il Colombaio di Santa Chiara
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Selvabianca 

Pale yellow core, lighter on the edge. Intense flavour of citrus fruit and green apple with light floral notes. Dry with lovely acidity which matches a good alcohol level. The aftertaste is persistent with pleasant notes of almond at the end. Very good wine !

Winery:  Il Palagione
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Hydra 

Straw coloured with paler rim. The bouquet is intense and ample with notes of grapefruit and apricot with scents of ginger. The mouth is intense and fresh with racy acidity. Quite a long finish. Fine, charming wine !

Winery: San Benedetto
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Selvabianca 

Clear with lemon colour turning slightly green on the rim. It expresses nice aromas of lemon and peach mixed with light notes of acacia. The acidity matches well with the rich fruit. Balanced palate with quite a long persistence.  I really appreciate it.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 (18 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Montenidoli
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Fiore 

Deep yellow core, lighter on the edge. The wine expresses a beautiful bouquet of lime and orange peel with overtones of thyme and mint. It is vibrant and structured to the palate with harmonious and fresh finish. Great potential for the ageing.

Winery:  Mormoraia
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Ostrea

Intense straw core with paler reflections. Intriguing nose with flavour of pear and maruted fruit with a hint of almond.  Lovely, creamy palate with present acidity. Discrete alcohol level with fresh finish. Delicious wine !

Winery:  Panizzi
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Vigna Santa Margherita 

Colour ranging from medium yellow core to lighter rim. Intense flavour of lemon with scent of candied apricot. Slight notes of vanilla. Dry, lively palate with good acidity. Rich and elegant aftertaste.  Great wine.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva (10 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Cappella di Sant’Andrea
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva  – Prima Luce 

Brilliant, deep yellow colour. Intense bouquet of lemon and jasmine flowers with a hint of mint. Fragrant entrance, round with ripe fruit and good acidity.  Well structured, mineral and complex.  I really like it !

Winery:  Cesani
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva – Sanice 

Medium yellow core with lighter hues. The wine displays an intense perfume white peach, grapefruit, and lemon with a light buttery note. Dry, sapid and intense with good acidity and freshness. Well balanced and harmonious. Excellent wine.

Winery:  Guicciardini Strozzi
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva

Medium yellow core with paler rims. Clean with beautiful nose of ripe apricot and mango with flowery overtones and a hint of almond. Medium body with lively acidity and freshness. The alcohol is well balanced with the fruit.  Elegant aftertaste.  Great wine.

A FEW NOTES ABOUT THE 2020 VINTAGE  

2020 was characterised by an excellent seasonal trend. The onset of the vegetative stages was a little early but still normal for the long term. The harvest also started a week earlier than in 2019. The health of the grapes was excellent and their quality was good, albeit slightly lower than the previous year. The wines of this vintage are smooth and round, have good aromas and their acidity is not excessive.

SAN GIMIGNANO AND ITS QUEEN GRAPE VERNACCIA 

San Gimignano is a small town of Siena, rich in charm and history. The village of San Gimignano is located almost halfway between Florence and Siena (about 60 and 45 km), and is easily reachable by car or a bus. It is a territory situated completely on hills at altitudes between 200 and 400 m above sea level. The soils are of the Pliocene era, dating back between 6.8 and 1.8 million years. And it is certainly the composition of the ancient soil that makes the wines produced in this denomination extremely fascinating and complex. The terroir of this area is characterized by the presence of fossils and shells, it is composed of pliocene soil and clay. These extremely calcareous sediments make the soil ideal to create vigorous and mineral white wines.The surface area of the Municipality of San Gimignano is of about 12,500 hectares, 5,600 of which are destined to farm productions (vineyards, olive groves, cereal crops). The San Gimignano hills present variable exposures, altitudes, soil compositions and availability of water. The multiple and sometimes unique combinations of these single factors have, even in such a small area, a significant effect on the characteristics of the wines made there.  The combination of the unique variables for wine growing in San gimignano: different exposures, altitudes, soil compositions and water…, determine, even in such a restricted area, a significant impact on the characters of the wines produced there.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a white grape variety present in Tuscan since ancient times. Its bunches are large, long and pyramidal in shape, with an average density of compact and medium berries, round, very pruinose with thick peels. It has an unmistakable amber color when it is shone by the sun. A vine that finds its perfect condition in growing in calcareous-clay or tuffaceous soils

Always a big thanks to my colleague and friend Liz Palmer ! 

Preview Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2021 — by Filippo Magnani

Wine, history and tradition all mixed in this extraordinary wine region!

The “Anteprima” preview of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, usually held in February , was postponed to the 17th and 18th of May. Another great effort by another Tuscany’s consortium, opening their doors to international and Italian journalists. We were summoned to the beautiful town of Montepulciano, in the heart of the village, inside the suggestive Medici fortress where the Consorzio del Vino Nobile and the Enoliteca are located. You can feel the history above your head, surrounded by art, soft hills, vineyards and monuments! Extraordinary. 

The event, this year, is unique in its kind since the Consortium reserved for us a surprise! Indeed the preview was an opportunity to not only to evaluate actual vintages on the market such as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2018 and the 2017 Reserves, Rosso di Montepulciano DOC 2019 but also to present the exciting new type of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano; the denomination “Pieve” which will hit the market as early as 2024.

12 subzones and additional geographical units, represented by different Pievi (churches). The idea behind the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Pieve”, came from a scientific study which required the consent and collective participation of all the wine producers.

The Pieve originally was a church-owned building in charge of many duties, functioning not only as a church but also as a small hospital and as the village municipality. It is a name that will be a path between the past and future, intertwining the old culture and local winemaking with the international future and innovative production techniques. The grape blend will be tied to Sangiovese (also locally known as “Prugnolo Gentile”) and complementary native only Tuscan varieties allowed by the Consortium, with grapes exclusively produced by the producers and coming from vines that are at least fifteen years old. Another important factor is the implementation of an internal commission within the Consortium composed of oenologists and wine technicians. These experts will be delegated the task of assessing the characteristics that correspond to the specification before the required legislative steps.

Such interesting wines will represent the quality of this magnificent territory holding a precious history.

 

 

 

 

on my radar

                                      Winery:  Bindella – Tenuta Vallocaia
Wine:   Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018 
Ruby core with rims. Intense bouquet of cherry with balsamic overtones and slight scent of black pepper. Lovely entrance, round with ripe fruit, medium body. Firm, velvety tannins with a long finish. I like it ! 

 

Winery: Dei
Wine:  Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Ruby core with narrow light garnet rim. Intense nose of ripe plum and notes of rhubarb and new leather. Powerful structure with ripe red fruit, fragrant with well integrated silky tannins. Elegant with a long finish. Lovely wine. 

 

Winery:  Poderi Boscarelli  
Wine:  Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Brillant, ruby red with compacted rim. Pronounced flavour of cassis and violet. Spicy with overtones of leather. Full bodied with quite bright acidity. Well balanced with rich red fruit and elegant tannins. Harmonious finish. Charming wine with ageing potential.  

Winery:  Poliziano
Wine:    Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Ruby colour turning slightly purple. The nose expresses flavours of red fruit and rhubarb with a hint of mint. The palate is balanced with notes of ripe cherry and prune. Dry and fragrant, with soft tannins and long persistence.                                               Full body with a nice end.  Great wine. 

Winery:  La Ciarliana
Wine:   Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Clean with a deep ruby core. Lovely aromas of ripe plum with a touch of vanilla. Blackcherry in the palate with a light toasty scent. Full body with round, sweet tannins. Fresh and harmonious finish. I like it ! 

 

Winery:  Salcheto
Wine:      Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Bright with paler reflections. Pronounced flavour of red cherry, wild blueberry and balsamic notes and anice. Rich and well structured, good balance of body, fruit, acidity and velvety tannins. Lovely wine. 

 

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2017 Riserva
[wines 15 reviewed]

The Riservas 2017 turned out to be rich and ripe with intense fruit. The wines showed good structure, sweet tannins, and a discrete alcohol presence. 

on my radar

Winery:  Tenuta Valdipiatta
Wine:  Vino Nobile di  Montepulciano Docg 2017 Riserva
Deep ruby core, paler on the hedge. Complex nose with flavours of dark cherry, prune and chocolate. Juicy palate with good acidity, discrete alcohol level and soft tannins. Fragrant and long. I like this wine! 

Winery:  Tenuta della Talosa
Wine:     Vino Nobile di  Montepulciano Docg 2017 Riserva
Brilliant deep red. Attractive bouquet of strawberry and violet mixed with spicy notes of black pepper. Full body with lots of red fruit in the center palate with smoky scents on the back. It expresses harmony with velvety tannins and long, fresh finish. Lovely wine. 

Winery:  Le Berne
Wine:  Vino Nobile di  Montepulciano Docg 2017 Riserva
Brilliant, deep ruby core with violet hues. Intense flavour of black cherry and liquorice with overtones of lavender and new leather. Fragrant entrance with discrete alcohol and ripe fruit. Sweet, velvety tannins and quite long aftertaste. Harmonious, charming wine.

Winery:  La Braccesca
Wine:   Vino Nobile di  Montepulciano Docg 2017 Riserva, Vigneto Santa Pia
Colour ranging from deep ruby core to lighter rim. It shows a lovely bouquet of ripe plum, violet and chocolate with a hint of tobacco. Full body with lively acidity well integrated with rich red fruit. Silky tannins with elegant finish. Great wine. 

 

THE 2020 HARVEST 

The year 2020 was defined by four key periods; germination from the 28th of March to the 19th of April; flowering from the 22nd to the 31 May; fruit ripening between the 21st of July and 21st August and the harvest which began on the 15th of September. Heavy rains interfered with harvesting operations, and in some areas of the appellation they continued without interruption. For this reason, the harvest was extended until the first week of October to avoid botrytis infections and a drop in yield quality. The wines of 2020, when tasted, demonstrated intense colors, a fine varietal aromatic expression and structure that is supported by medium acidity and tannins. On an analytical level, one can detect normal values of intensity and color tone, acidity, pH, extracts, and total polyphenols. The alcoholic grades are medium to high. Balance and elegance are keywords to describe the eccentricities of 2020 wines.

Montepulciano 

Near the city of Siena, Nobile di Montepulciano D.O.C.G., Rosso di Montepulciano D.O.C and Vin Santo di Montepulciano D.O.C, are exclusively made within the city limits of the town of Montepulciano, near the city of Siena. We are talking of a territory that has been a wine production zone for centuries, witness to not only the progress in cultivation techniques but also of the geopolitical impact on those “noble” hills. We have known these hills as a wine territory since the 17th century. It is a place that captured the attention of elite and noble families of Tuscany and was recognized as one of the finest red wine areas of the region. Vino Nobile has been one of Italy’s most esteemed wines for centuries, though it has been eclipsed in recent times by other Tuscan wines. The turning point was 1980 with the birth of the Consortium. In the last 15 years, the consortium has made enormous efforts to elevate the production in Montepulciano. Only in the recent decades Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has witnessed amazing growth in terms of winemaking techniques and quality. Today, the roughly 70 producers of Montepulciano believe that the Sangiovese produced in this district can top the levels of excellence of the other Tuscan icon wines.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
International Markets

Always a big “Thank You” to my colleague, and friend, Liz Palmer !

 

Filippo Magnani