Montefioralle: All about Family, Authenticity and Endurance
A celebration is definitely in order for Montefioralle Winery, as 50 wine harvests or la vendemmia Cinqantesimo
is a pretty big deal. Azienda Agricola Montefioralle
is a small winery located in the picturesque, medieval hill-top village of the same name, Montefioralle, which is in the commune of Greve in Chianti, in the heart of the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany. When one dreams about Tuscany and/or a winery in Tuscany, Montefioralle is the epitome. Although they have only 5 hectares (2 acres) of vineyard, making it one of the smallest wineries in Chianti Classico, Montefioralle has been doing big things…for 50 years!
|Olive trees at Montefioralle
It is all about family at Montefioralle. The winery was established in 1964 by Renato Sieni. Renato and his son, Fernando, planted the vines and began the production of Chianti Classico. Today, Montefioralle is owned by Fernando’s oldest daughter, Alessia. However, it is managed by her brother Lorenzo, with the help and guidance of Fernando. Truly a family effort! While some family members of the Sieni family may work other jobs, they each share in the work to help grow the winery. However, is not work for them, as some consider work, but a family partnership and a livelihood with which they have much pride and joy.
|The Sieni Family of Montefioralle
Photo Credit: Montefioralle
|Fernando Sieni and Me, The Wining Hour
Montefioralle may be a small Chianti Classico Winery, but it is growing. Approximately two years ago, they increased planting and production by 30-40%. Nevertheless, their “main production is wine in limited quantities, though. Every year approximately 10,000 bottles leave our cellar. The small quantity production enables the Sieni family to take care of every little detail in order to produce high quality Chianti Classico wine.”
Blood, sweat and tears are put into every bottle produced at Montefioralle. Well, not literally, but each wine is, in fact, a bottle of authenticity. To improve quality, they realized that they needed to focus on quality, not quantity and use only the best grapes. Additionally, the winery is working on being fully organic and sustainable. “Our company operates with attention to the sustainability of production processes, giving up the use of chemical herbicides and performing pesticide treatments on the vines without utilizing synthetic products.” While their organic certification is still pending, Montefioralle engages in organic farming methods. For example, insects, deer, wild boar and other critters can be problematic, but they have used organic methods to ward them off. To combat mold and fungus, small doses of copper sulfate has been effective.
It was great to see their vines and examine the soil up close and personal. The soil is a stony, rock, limestone soil with excellent drainage, typical of Chianti Classico. It was also nice to see their fermentation tanks and see where the aging takes place. Montefioralle does a great job at preserving tradition and maintaining their authenticity amid greatness in Chianti Classico.
|Soil at Montefioralle
Some Italians may refer to Montefioralle as stabile, durevole or durevolezza…In English, we would think of longevity, sticktuitiveness or staying power. Things may not have been and are not always easy, but Montefioralle has shown that they have to ability to last…despite mishaps. The story of La Gramola (the grape crusher), which malfunctioned right in the middle of the harvest, for example, is not only a great story, but it is also a testimony to their endurance. A visit to the winery and speaking with the family reveals much more about their tenacity.
Of note, is the fact that Montefioralle is mentioned by the renown author, Raymond Flower, who wrote about this village in Chianti and the likes of Mona Lisa and Machiavelli in his book Chianti: The Land, the People and the Wine (1978). He speaks of Montefioralle as a well-restored village that has been documented since 1085 and has been able to withstand conflicts and invasions throughout history. True endurance indeed. Montefioralle is as beautiful as ever, in tact, and producing delicious, high quality vino.
I had the pleasure of visiting Montefioralle with Katarina Andersson of GrapeVine Adventures, along with a few other friends.
Here’s what we tasted, along with a delicious dinner:
Montefioralle Chianti Classico 2016 uses Sangiovese grapes as the main component, with small percentages of Canaiolo and Colorino, aged in oak barrels for 12 months. This wine is young and approachable with floral notes of violet and sour cherry. The palate has some earthy notes of wet soil and herbs. This vintage is young with high acidity, but smooth with firm tannins, as evidence of the micro climate and warm year of production. 14%ABV Cheese and bruschetta hit the spot.
Montefioralle Chianti Classico 2015 uses the same formula, predominantly Sangiovese and a small percentage of blending partners. Potpourri on the nose and warm cherry and red currants on the palate. A delicious tagliatelle pasta was a great match for the tannins. 14.5% ABV
Montefioralle Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 is definitely fuller, as it uses only the best grape from the oldest vines and ages for 24 months in oak barrels. The perfume is intoxicating, with mature fruit. Dark berry fruit, cherry, tobacco, and espresso. Balanced, with more power, structure and complexity. Persistent finish. I loved this wine! A pairing of roasted potatoes and cinghiale was the perfect touch.
Montefioralle Monteficalle 2015 combines 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot to make this special, limited-production IGT wine. Only a maximum of 900 bottles (75 cases) are produced each year. Monteficalle ages for 24 months in oak. The name and the picture on the bottle signifies the original name of the village of Montefioralle. Monteficalle is rich with intense notes of violet, spicy black cherry, chocolate and coffee. Good structure and complexity.
Montefioralle Vin Santo 2014 was both a surprise and a delight to my palate. I am typically not a lover of vin santo, but this one was fantastic! Vin Santo, also known as “holy wine” is a sweet, passito style wine in which the grapes are laid out to dry and then left to slowly ferment for as long as 4 years. This one by Montefioralle uses Malvasia and Trebbiano and is aged for 3 years. It is a gorgeous copper color with almond toffee aromas. The flavors are the same, almond, toffee and yellow raisins. Delicious!
What a treat!
Have you visited Montefioralle
, in the heart of Chianti Classico? If you are unable to get to Tuscany, you can enjoy them from wherever you are. In celebration of their 50th Harvest, visit the winery or order a bottle today!
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