Tenuta di Valgiano
Tantalizing wine portrays a sense of tradition, family, and culture
It is not unusual that the estate that comprises Tenuta di Valgiano dates back to the 16th Century, for a great many Italian estates share a somewhat glorified history and background. What is different about the coastal Tuscan property is that a trio of relative wine newcomers, Moreno Petrini, Laura Collobiano and Xavier Petrilli, have banded together to create a superb wine in the shadows of some of the greatest wines that Italy produces.
Located in the hills just above the fortified town of Lucca, Valgiano is blessed with a mixture of sandstone and limestone soils and a marvelous pure stream that spills off Monte Barbona, some 1,400 feet above the vineyards.
Tenuta di Valgiano produced its first wine as recently as 2002, at a time when the principals believed their vines and grapes had reached a sufficient level of maturity. The wine combines the great Sangiovese with a pair of French varietals, Merlot and Syrah, both holdovers from the period of history that was known as the French Napoleonic era.
The estate also began producing some of the first biodynamic grapes grown in Tuscany. Their efforts proved so successful that an emphasis was placed on making some superior quality wines. “We didn’t start out with the idea of producing great wines,” remarked Saberio Petrilli,” but the vines flourished to such an extent that it became a natural consequence.” Most of the grapes come from 45-year-old vines that have been restored bio-dynamically that have helped the balance in the finished wine.
Map of the area
While most wine consumers relate Tuscany to classic Chianti, the remarkable winegrowing region of Tuscany is home to a number of additional world-class wines. Tuscany, one of Italy’s most well known wine regions, is dominated by sophisticated and historic Florence, long considered the prime example of Italian culture. The Tuscan spoken language is now the spoken language of Italy after scholars deviated from traditional Latin during the 14th Century.
Wine has traditionally been part of the Tuscan lifestyle for over 3,000 years and represents the spirit and personality of its inhabitants. The finest Tuscan wines were exported as early as the 16th Century and are always considered among the world’s elite class of wines. The terroir of Tuscany consists of gently rolling hills that are highly conducive to growing superior vines.
Tuscany’s earliest settlers, the Etruscans, realized that vines and grapes contained certain lifesaving properties and emphasized their consumption and usage in diet, a theory currently being proven by modern medicine.
The great Sangiovese (red) and Trebbiano (white) grapes dominate the region and are mostly responsible for Tuscany’s international reputation. A number of the larger Italian wine entities are located here, but the real backbone of the region is the myriad of small estate producers that supply many of the world’s top tables and restaurants. In addition to Florence and Pisa, the medieval walled city of Lucca is one of Italy’s top tourist destinations. Tuscan cuisine is also favored by many to compliment the area’s robust wines and sauces.