For many wine lovers, including myself, Tuscany is a dreamland. With 11 DOCGs, 41 DOCs, plus six Protected Geographical Indications, each with its own personality, with over 60,000 hectares and thousands of producers, it is a world in itself that would take years and years to explore it properly. That’s why I’m always happy to discover new stories and new wines, which will then point out my future routes.
One of my latest discoveries is MonteRosola, a 25-hectare boutique winery, located between Bolgheri and Chianti, in a fantastic landscape, on a hilltop with a view over the entire town of Volterra. That alone would be enough to attract countless tourists, but if you add the local cuisine (among the world’s finest) and the exceptional wines of the producers, I guarantee you a dream destination. But there is much, much more to tell …
MonteRosola is a relatively young winery, the first wine production being the 2003 harvest. But destiny would bring along, in 2013, Bengt and Ewa Thomaeus, a couple from Stockholm who had spent many summers in Chianti and Montalcino and who he had decided, since 2011, to buy a summer house in Tuscany, possibly one with a few vines around it. On the list of properties to visit, Monte Rosola was the 30th, and as soon as they saw the castle-like silhouette on the top of the hill, they knew that was the place they were looking for. The wines of the place and the quality of the winery’s employees only strengthened their decision.
The acquisition of MonteRosola meant more than a transfer of ownership. The vineyard immediately switched to organic techniques, and another surrounding 120 hectares were added to the vineyard, so visitors can stroll among olive groves, lakes, gardens, and forests. To create the top wines they desired, a new winery was needed, so they built it between 2015 and 2019, specifically for the production of modern artisanal wines.
The winery itself is a small architectural miracle. Spreading on five levels, the cellar itself isa building within another building, creating a space through which air circulates and purifies itself, while naturally maintaining a constant temperature in the cellar. The aim of the winery is to consume 70% less energy than a traditional winery of equivalent size.
Above the winery facilities sits the VIP tasting room, where you can see the entire technological process, but the winery has many other spaces dedicated to entertaining guests or organizing events.
Production is strictly limited to ensure the highest quality of wines. If in the first year of the new winery, 2019, MonteRosola produced 70,000 bottles of wine, the target for the end of this year, with all the things set up in the winery and vineyard, is only 140,000.
Primo Passo 2018 – Viognier, Manzoni Bianco, Grechetto
Light golden yellow, crystalline. Intense aromas of juicy orchard fruits, peaches, apricots, orange peel. Fruit-driven taste, with above-average body, very good acidity and mineral accents that beautifully complement the ensemble. Medium to long finish, with notes of oriental spices.
An interesting and elegant interpretation of a subtle grape variety, with many potential expressions. Straw-yellow, with greenish and golden hues. Aromas of acacia, wildflowers, sweet green apples, with slight citrus and mineral accents. Taste dominated by fruit, with more mineral notes than the nose predicted, medium body, above average acidity, very elegant finish, well balanced between fruit, floral, and citrus notes.
The traditional Tuscan grape, in all its splendor. Ruby red, intense and deep, with slight garnet hues. Intense and specific aromas of red fruits – cherries, overripe cherries, black cherries, sour cherries – plus the specific notes gained via oak barrel aging for 15 months – spices, cocoa, smoke, licorice, nuts, and roasted seeds, vanilla, and leather. Above average body, with round, well-polished tannins, acidity in perfect balance with the whole. The barely noticeable tertiary notes promise this wine a long life.
Intense and deep ruby red, with purplish hues. A young wine with fresh aromas of cherries, black cherries, raspberries, accents of overripe berries, and earthy notes. Full, fruit-driven taste – cherries, raspberries, currants – but also many subtle aromas, from tobacco and vanilla to aromatic herbs. Above average body, with almost perfectly integrated tannins, good acidity, and medium-long finish, dominated by notes of red fruits.
PS: Wines are also available in Romania, via ReWine.ro.