Castello Tricerchi is an Estate winery in Località Altesi on the north side of Montalcino in Tuscany, Italy. Its main wines are Rosso di Montalcino DOC and Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. The estate was managed by Agricoltori Chianti Geografico until 2010 when Tricerchi’s owners, the Squarcia family, began running their estate themselves.

Owner: The Squarcia family. Contact: Tommaso Squarcia.

Staff: Consultant Oenologist Lorenzo Landi, assisted by Niccola Berti.

The castle: The estate extends for 400 hectares. In the centre stands the castle, originally built in the thirteenth century by the Altesi family and completed in 1441 by the Tricerchi family. It served as a fortress for pilgrims marching to Rome on the Via Francigena. Many of its decorative and structural features have been attributed to Baldassare Peruzzi. In the sixteenth century the castle was occupied for a time by the Spanish who made it their own stronghold. Until it went back into the hands of the Tricerchi’s when it once again became a fortress for pilgrims on their way to the Vatican. It was during the sixteenth century that the chapel, originally located within the fortified walls (as demonstrated by the presence of the belfry), was relocated to the path to the front of the castle and dedicated to the Virgin of the Veil. A fragment of the Veil, certified by a Papal Bull, is still in the church. In 1982 the Altesi castle was declared as an artistic and historical heritage site.

Family history: The Tricerchi family was a part of the Sienese oligarchy, as shown by their membership of the ‘Monte di Nove’ which, from the twelfth century, monopolised control of Siena. Their members were the ‘Provveditori delle Biccheme’, a body approved by the Constitution, which took care of the finances of the Republic and depended on the monks of San Galgano (considered the least corruptible). Under the Grand Duchy, they were elevated to noble rank and continued to carry out important tasks associated with public administration such as recruitment and culural activities. Men-at-arms from the Tricerchi family fought in a number of battles, including the Battle of Montaperti which took place on September 4th 1260, and mention should be made of Alessandro, a knight of ‘degli Alti Pensieri’ whose motto was ‘Non in latera pro nos’. In the seventeenth century Carlo Tricerchi was a patron and dedicated himself to the arts, a fact borne out by a painting from 1650, inspired by the Nativity, which depicts him along with his family. In 1820 the last of the Tricerchi’s, Porzia, married a baron Finetti. Then, missing a line of descent, the castle passed to a nephew Falzacappa, his wife Maddalena (Nena) and their first born Giulio (Iulio) Squarcia.

Vineyards: The estate is situated on the north side of Montalcino and extends for 400 hectares, of which thirteen are cultivated as vineyards. The 13ha comprise 100% Sangiovese for Brunello (5ha) and Rosso di Montalcino (3ha) and Sangiovese IGT (the rest). The hillside underlying the castle is where the vineyards are found. They extend to the lake below which, in ancient times was used to supply domestic water for irrigation. The vineyards are divided into seven plots, each cultivated in the same way with the vines cordon trained. They are ‘The Veil’, ‘The Castle’, ‘Sant’ Anna’, ‘The Lake’, ‘The Cypress’ and ‘The New Vineyard’.

Winery: Granaries dating from the 15th century Castello Altesi have been converted into a winery and ageing cellars for Rosso di Montalcino and Brunello di Montalcino. In the dungeon, the temperature is almost constant all year round thanks to the enormously thick walls and the tunnels that run above and below. In part of the structure it’s still possible to see ancient features including the granary that survived the last restoration. Everything in this part of the castle is as it was 600 years ago and traditional methods have been conserved, even with the inevitable help of technology. This is where ageing of the wine takes place. After the ageing process, the bottles complete their improvement in a different area, dark and at a perfect temperature, in order to satisfy the taste of those who appreciate the noble wines.

Red wines

Rosso di Montalcino DOC: 2013 4,000 bottles. Nice fruit, simple and wild (Benvenuto Brunello 2015). | 2014 Bit simple and confected (Anteprima 2016). | 2018 23,000 bottles.

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG: 2010 6,000 bottles. 36 months in botti and 10 months in barrel. Sweet tannins, some animal notes, OK (Anteprima 2015). | 2011 Bit citric, short, fluffy red cherry (Anteprima 2016). | 2015 22,000 bottles.

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, AD 1441: 2015 2,000 bottles.

Bibliography

Castello Tricerchi website.

Contact

Castello Tricerchi

Strada Provinciale 45 del Brunello km 1700

Località Castello Altesi

I-53024 Montalcino (SI = Siena), Italy

Tel+39 0577.806081 | Website www.castellotricerchi.com