AZIENDA AMPELEIA, Roccateterighi, Maremma – Certified organic and biodynamic by Q Certificazioni and Demeter
Ampeleia (from the Greek word for ‘vine’) is owned by Elisabetta Foradori and Giovani Podini. The winemaker and agronomist, Marco Tait has been with the estate since its inception in 2002. It was founded with Elisabetta’s overarching vision of allowing the true nature of an area, its diversity, its grapes, land and culture to be expressed. The wildness of the southern Maremma, bounded by the Colle Metallifere and the sea were virgin territory, far removed from the glamour of Bolgheri and Montalcino. The estate is large and biodiverse with a total of 40 ha of vineyard interspersed with chestnut and cork oak forests as well as Mediterranean scrub. There are three parts, across differing altitudes, with differing soils and microclimates: Ampeleia di Sopra; di Mezzo and di Sotto.
Alicante Nero is part of the “Monovarietali” project. The grapes are sourced from a single parcel called “Vigna della Pieve,” with sandy soils rich in pebbles, planted to Alicante Nero, a common Mediterranean variety also known as Grenache in France, Cannonau in the neighbouring island of Sardinia and as Garnacha in Spain. This vineyard sits at 250 meters above sea level. Fruit was harvested the first week of September at yields of 50 hl/ha. Vinification is part carbonic and part destemmed. Aged 6 months in cement tanks. 6,000 bottles produced. The wine is bold, pungent with intense flavours of olives, dried cherries, savoury herbs and liquorice. This is a pretty, mid-weight wine best suited to near-term drinking.