Tenuta di Valgiano | Colline Lucchesi | Tuscany | Italy
Tenuta di Valgiano was founded in 1992 by Moreno Petrini and Laura di Collobiano in Tuscany’s Colline Lucchesi. The villa, farm and vineyards are situated high above the town of Lucca, with sweeping views of the valley and Apuan Alps. The estate and vineyards cover nearly 50 acres. Winemaker Saverio Petrilli was involved with the project from early on and continues to manage every aspect alongside Moreno and Laura. A small team of dedicated workers, many of whom reside on the property, care for various aspects of the farm. Two red wines, Valgiano and Palistorti, focus on the Sangiovese grape and include smaller proportions of Merlot and Syrah. Dismayed by the applications of conventional farming, the team converted to organic practices in 1997 and have been certified Demeter Biodynamic since 2001. In addition to red and white wines, small quantities of olive oil and honey are produced.
The winery anchors the hamlet of Valgiano, within the commune of Capannori, a thirty-minute drive northeast of Lucca or an hour from Pisa or Florence. The Mediterranean climate means a long growing season with intense sun. Rain is abundant. At 750-820 feet altitude, cool nights help preserve freshness in the grapes. Soils range from alluvial to clay marl.
Viticulture & Winemaking
Tenuta di Valgiano’s 22-acre estate vineyard is the source of all grapes for the estate red wine, Valgiano. Grapes from some estate parcels and four other plots provide grapes for the wine Palistorti. The Australian pioneer in Biodynamic farming, Alex Podolinski, has played an active role in helping transform the property. Biodynamic farming at Tenuta di Valgiano has stimulated the microbial life of the soils, health of the grapes and strength of the native yeast population, resulting in healthy fermentations. Fresh cow milk is sprayed on vines during humid conditions to prevent mildieu, an alternative to the invasive, yet traditional copper/sulfur treatments. The hand picked grapes are sorted by vineyard plot, not grape varietal, before a two-week maceration. Daily punch-downs or pump-overs are followed by pressing and final fermentation. Gravity or compressed air is used to move the wines. A small amount of new French oak is used. Prior to filling, the bottles are washed with chlorine-free water derived from a local river.