The Vineyard

Podere Sant'Alberto is located some 10 miles north of Siena, between the fortified villages of San Gimignano, Monteriggioni and Castellina in Chianti. The estate covers 12 hectares of mixed woodland, olive groves and vineyards on sloping terrain of limestone and clay at an elevation of around 250 metres.

There are two vineyards covering 2.2 hectares with 3,600 vines per hectare. There is approximately one hectare of Sangiovese, with the remaining parcels equally divided between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The upper (older) vineyard is planted with Sangiovese and the white Tuscan varieties of Malvasia and Trebbiano. These vines are about 40 years old and are mixed with olive trees in the traditional manner. The lower (newer) vineyard is planted with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and was established in 2001. A south easterly facing hillside has recently being planted with Sangiovese.

Two red wines are made. The first, a traditional Sangiovese based wine that sees little new oak during aging and is true expression of Sangiovese fruit and our Tuscan terroir. The second, a blend of spicy Cabernet Sauvignon and silky Merlot from the lower vineyard to make the Riserva del Padrone in a SuperTuscan style. The Merlot and Cabernet both benefit from a touch of new oak.

These three organic red grape varieties mature at different times and are handpicked and fermented separately in 1000 litre stainless steel tanks. The process occurs naturally and takes between two and four weeks, after which the wines are transferred to oak barrels where they will remain for about 18 months. The choice of the barrels will depend on the characteristics of the wine and at the temperature which it was fermented. Typically though, the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot will be aged in 225 litre French oak barriques (a mix of old and new) and the Sangiovese in 500 litre tonneaus. The wines are blended before bottling to produce a complex, structured wine that improves with age.

The white grapes fulfil their potential in a distinctive and invigorating Rosato (Rosé), with a light crushing of the Trebbiano and Malvasia with some of the early picked Sangiovese. We are striving to create wines of international quality yet representative of the Tuscan terroir with which we are blessed.

We have the benefit of consultancy from Sean O'Callaghan at Riecine in nearby Gaiole, who with 20 years experience of making top quality Tuscan red wine ensures that nothing is lost in translation. Sean also assists with the blending process. In addition we have acquired over the years several chemistry degrees and viticulture diplomas, coupled with years of appreciating good wine and fine Italian produce. Contact us if you have any questions.