The wines of Montedinoli are utterly and captivatingly unique – which makes sense, because 83 year-old winegrower Elisabetta Fagiuoli’s story is uniquely captivating as well.
The story starts in 1965 when she and Sergio Muratori arrived in these forested hills above San Gimignano in 1965 with their nine children. At the top of the highest hill in the 900-acre reserve they’d purchased, they found an abandoned vineyard. It had been first planted by the Etruscans, later farmed by Romans and finally worked by the Knights Templar, who in the 13th Century also build the home Elisabetta occupies today.
Building on History
Inspired by the few remaining vines and the Knights Templar’s ancient olive trees, Sergio and Elisabetta began carving out what would become a 57-acre vineyard among the nooks and crannies of their hills. Rather than purchase vines from a nursery, they took cuttings and seeds from the remaining vines and propagated their own unique clones of Sangiovese, Vernaccia, Malvasia Bianca and Canaiolo.
From the beginning, Elisabetta worked their vineyards and vines naturally. She’s never used chemical fertilizers, herbicides or fungicides here, treating the vines as little as possible with sulfur and copper. Grapes are picked by hand, sorted, crushed, and fermented with native yeasts in concrete tank (the reds) or temperature controlled stainless steel (the whites). Reds move to old barrels to finish fermentation and rest. Whites remain on their lees to gain an added layer of richness and texture.
Wines for Insiders … and Now for Us!
Tuscan insiders have known Elisabetta’s wines and lauded her as the finest grower in San Gimignano for years. But small production levels and Elisabetta’s persnickety approach to selecting her customers prevented much of her wine from reaching the US market over the years – until now.
We don’t’ know exactly how importer John Grimsley persuaded Elisabetta to part with so much of her wine for us and you. But you can find out for yourself what was required – and why the effort was worth it! – if you come by Saturday from noon-4pm and try the wines with John. Or stop by Friday from 3-7 (John won’t be here, but the wines can speak for themselves).
If you love great Tuscan wines, you’ll adore Montenidoli. And if you’ve never quite found Sangiovese or Vernaccia that captivated and convinced you? Well these are the bottles that will get the job done!