Tenuta Le Calcinaie is a beautiful small estate just three kilometres from the town of San Gimignano (in the province of Siena). It is named after the composition of the soil of this zone: in fact layers of limestone, originating from marine deposits of the Pliocene epoch, are found at half a meter underground (“calce” means lime in Italian).
Simone Santini, a wine technician, is the owner: he planted his first hectare with Vernaccia vines, the “Vigna ai Sassi” vineyard, in 1986 and in 1989 he planted 7,000 square meters with red grape varieties. At the time he was also working as a bricklayer. The 1993 vintage of Teodoro, 100% Sangiovese, was the first wine he released (only one barrique was bottled) followed by the 1995 vintage of Vernaccia di San Gimignano. At first Simone contracted vineyards then he gradually bought plots of land. The total vineyard extension is now 12 hectares and the average production is 70,000 bottles/year. Since 1995 viticulture follows the organic protocol, the vineyards are certified organic since 1998 and since 2012 also the wines are certified organic (according to the EU regulation).
At first the wines were vinified and matured in a small cellar, then a new cellar was completed in 2006. It is built underground so that the temperature is kept even. Furthermore, an optimal level of humidity is obtained as the front part is insulated and the back walls are made with reinforced concrete which is permeable and lets the moisture from the ground seep through.
The composition of the soil – layers of limestone topped by layers of clay, sand and fossils – yields mineral, structured and flavourful whites. The delicate skin of the Vernaccia grapes is protected from the sun by the north-eastern exposure of the vineyards. The reds are grown on the higher part of the property and the soils are skeletal and made up of brown clay: this enhances the colour and power in the wines. The altitude of the vineyards is between 200 and 250 meters above sea level.
A Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva, a Chianti Colli Senesi, a Chianti Colli Senesi Riserva and three IGT/proprietary wines are made. Two 100% Sangiovese and one 100% Merlot. “Ingredienti Uva” is a 100 % Sangiovese proprietary wine made without the use of sulphites.
At the end of August Chardonnay grapes are harvested. Pressing and fermentation of the must after static decanting. After approx three weeks Vernaccia grapes are harvested: destemming, crushing and maceration with the skins for a few hours. The must, after a cold decanting, is racked into steel vats togehter with Chardonnay (that is completing fermentation). The musts ferment together. The wine matures in steel for two years on the lees. Finishing in the bottle for 12 months.
This wine presents an intense and brilliant straw yellow color, with complex, intense and persistent, slightly aromatic with citrus fruit and vanilla. The flavor is supple, fresh and well structured. The wine will pair brilliantly with shellfish, seafood, and roast fish.
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