On the hills of San Martino Buon Albergo, is Tenuta Musella, one of the most beautiful estates of the Veneto region. Rich in forests, rivers, ancient courts and chapels, farming estates and houses, all within a single, completely fenced area. A splendid aristocratic villa, dating back to the seventeenth century, stands at the centre of the estate.
The oldest roots of the family of the counts Muselli, presumably the first proprietors of the Tenuta, date back to the sixteenth century. But it is not until the second half of the nineteenth century that one hears about the winemaking tradition of the area, established by Cesare Trezza di Musella. He introduced innovative viticultural practices, thus initiating what was to become a major venture for the Tenuta. In 1990, the Tenuta loses its original unity, but in 1995 the winery purchases all the vineyards and structures that were eventually restored and converted into the cellars and offices.
Since 2008, The estate is in the process of converting to biodynamics under the supervision of gifted winemaker Maddalena Pasqua. Pasqua’s meticulous work and dedication has propelled Tenuta Musella amongst the top wine estates in the world. It’s obvious to the contented band of devotees who have followed the estate over the years that the wines are becoming even brighter, more vibrant and pure as a result of her passion for precision.
The winery owns three vineyards for a total of 24 hectares on three different hills, rich in forest and natural oasis: Monte del Drago, Perlar and Palazzina. The variety of soil compositions and favourable exposure, mainly to the West, guarantee an interesting combination. The estate itself extends on a total area of almost 400 hectares.
The Musella family is a member of “Le Famiglie dell’Amarone d’Arte” or The Amarone Families. A very prestigious group composed of twelve historical producers who promote and protect the tradition, quality and integrity of Amarone.
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The 40 acre estate is run by Andrea Oberto and his son Fabio. Andrea founded the estate and started bottling the wines in 1978. Before then, the Obertos grew grapes and sold them off. Since 1978 the winery has grown quite a bit, but it is still family owned and operated. Andrea mainly works in the vineyard and Fabio is in charge of the winery operations. The estate is located in La Morra, one of the eleven communes of the Barolo DOCG.
Oberto has made a great name as a bit of a modernista in Barolo – fair enough, with all of the brand new barriques in the cellar. However, the urge to classify a producer who uses barrique as modernist should be tempered by the realization that little NEW barrique is used – wines are often aged in second and third season barrels.
With a brand-new winery, and an annual production of around 100,000 bottles. The passion that Andrea dedicates to his craft has not changed however: while other producers have preferred to delegate the work in the vineyards, he continues to tend his vines with enthusiasm, assisted by his son Fabio and wife Ornella.
The Barolos from La Morra are known as the most perfumed and graceful of Barolo. Besides the regular Barolo, the Obertos make three prestigious single vineyard DOCG wines: Vigneto Albarella, Vigneto Rocche, and Vigneto Brunate. The estate is also well known for its Barbera Giada.
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One of the oldest estates in Tuscany, located on the Via Francigena pilgrim route to Rome, Castiglion del Bosco has an incredibly rich history. Today the team at Castiglion del Bosco consider themselves to be stewards for this historic treasure, preserving and continuing its legacy.
While winemaking at Castiglion del Bosco has been a craft for centuries, until fairly recently the vineyards were cultivated solely for personal consumption by each family living on the Estate. Today, Castiglion del Bosco wines are consistently recognized for their excellence.
As one of the founding members of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, the organization that regulates and controls the quality of Brunello production, Castiglion del Bosco introduced the world to its exemplary vintages through the emergence of a commercial operation in the late 1950s. In 2004, acclaimed international Wine Master Nicolo D’Afflitto took command of winemaking at Castiglion del Bosco, along with locally trained enologist Cecilia Leoneschi. Under their careful direction, the Estate is yielding more modern Brunellos that are attracting critical acclaim.
The fundamental goal of winemaking at Castiglion del Bosco is to remain faithful to the land and the characteristics of the grapes. Everyone at Castiglion del Bosco has the unique opportunity to help contribute to this goal and participate in all aspects of the vinification process, from picking and sorting to bottling and tasting.
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Fontodi is a certified organic estate which extends over 130 hectares, of which about 70 are planted with vines. The type of agriculture practiced is inspired and guided by the principles of respect of nature and sustainability. The organic methods of agriculture on the estate go beyond simply not spraying chemicals and include being as sustainable as possible and reducing the need for external inputs at all levels of production.
Giovanni Manetti, the winery principal, is president and founding member of the “Unione Viticoltori di Panzano”, which is a free and independent group of 20 wineries working towards advancement in sustainable practices and certifications by introducing organic as a whole concept and not just for every single winery, but as a larger territory.
The group was also instrumental to the birth of SPEVIS, The Experimental Station for Sustainable Viticulture (Stazione Sperimentale per la Viticoltura Sostenibile), a private institution that studies the most effective ecological solutions in viticulture. The project was created in cooperation with wine producers and scientific consultation with prestigious research institutes.
The station coordinates the various vineyards and their actions of defense in the vineyards, helps those wineries that want to convert to organic methods and works closely with the academic world on many researches and experiments that are helpful and aid to increase knowledge about better and more efficient methods and organic farming in viticulture. This project has as objective to make Panzano into the first Italian organic zone.