Francesca Moretti likes to say that the entire Petra project is “the fascinating story of a feminine trip.”
Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi, Napoleon’s sister and Grand Duchess of Tuscany, was the first to plant vines in this part of the Tuscan Coast. Her original five-hectare plot of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese is planted to those same varietals today and her herb and flower garden, now called the “Princess’s Garden,” has been restored using the 19th Century map prepared by historical botanist Paolo Tomei from the University of Siena.
The vineyards had been long abandoned with then 19-year-old Francesca Moretti took a break from her studies towards a veterinary degree to drive to Bordeaux with her father. Upon passing through the rolling hills and seaside vistas of the Suvereto district in Maremma, she fell in love. The rest, as they say, is history.
Matching Soil to Grapes
The vineyards were meticulously planted at the foot of Maremma’s Colline Metallifere hills, the “metal-bearing hills” mined from Etruscan times through the 19th Century. Francesca Moretti and her father, Vittorio, analyzed each plot of the 300 hectare estate for soil type, exposition, and exposure to the cooling breezes coming off the nearby Tyrrhenian Sea.
Where appropriate, the red, iron-rich soils were matched to both French grapes – Syrah, Cabernets, Merlot, Petit Verdot – and Tuscany’s own Sangiovese. The remaining two-thirds of the property was planted to olives or left wild to support the natural population of deer, boars, porcupines, hedgehogs, badgers, foxes, kestrels, buzzards and owls.
A few years ago, then Wine Advocate Italian critic Antonio Galloni wrote that
“Petra is one of my favorite properties for intense, flavorful wines from the Suvereto district in Maremma,” and he later added, “I rarely hear Petra mentioned in a discussion of the best wines and wineries from the Tuscan coast, but year after year the wines are reliably outstanding and fairly priced. … The house style is one of bold, exuberant wines.”
Many of you loved the 2015 Petra Toscana Zingari we featured last year, taking it home by the box-full when we first offered and then coming back for more and more while it lasted. When the huge ratings and Wine Spectator Top 100 award for the 2017 came out late last year, the 2017 was still awaiting release in Italy and demand soared (and the winery took a price increase, too). Last year, we brought you 52 cases of the 2015. And 52 cases is all we were allocated for this even more stunning 2017 vintage.
The 2017 edition of Petra Toscana Zingari is pretty much everything you’d hope for in a $50 prestige bottling. At $17.98 by the bottle or $16.98/ea by the case, this is an order all you can and then rush down to pick it up via our contactless curbside pick-up or enjoy our expanded free delivery service to addresses in Arlington, Falls Church, Vienna, Tysons, McLean and Great Falls.